As the Wall Street Journal pointed out today, several large banks including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are exploring prepaid cards as a way to make up revenue that will likely be lost from federal restrictions on debit cards. "That is because prepaid cards, which are preloaded with funds and used like debit cards, are exempt from restrictions in the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul bill," the Journal reports.
U.S. Bank ($291 billion in assets) recently announced that it will launch mobile services for its AccelaPay prepaid card customers. In this program, AccelaPay cardholders will be able to use their mobile phones, including BlackBerrys and iPhones, to check their account balance, pay bills, receive account alerts and view mini-statements.
The AccelaPay card is a prepaid card that functions as a traditional bank account allowing users to make deposits and pay bills. Research has shown that consumers are more likely to have a mobile phone than a PC. Adding mobile access to their primary financial vehicle will help to create a tighter bond between U.S. Bank and this customer segment.
"We are pleased to introduce AccelaPay for mobile banking, the first full-suite mobile banking solution with bill pay capabilities in the prepaid marketplace," said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer for Retail Payment Solutions, U.S. Bank. "As an early adopter of mobile banking in the payments space, U.S. Bank is committed to investing in new technologies to better serve our customers."
The U.S. Bank AccelaPay Visa is a prepaid, reloadable card designed to replace costly paper checks for businesses with recurring cash disbursement activities, such as payroll, commissions, travel advances and insurance claim distributions.