Personal finance
GE Capital Purchasing MetLife Bank

Washington DC Might Divest from Bank of America, Wells Fargo

Miles By Discover Offers Relief to Noncommittal Travelers

Collection Agencies Resurrecting Old Debts Through Credit Card Offers

Treasury Doubles Purchase Limits on Electronic Savings Bonds

Cordray’s First Move as CFPB Head: Regulate Nonbanks

Weekly Wrap: Bank of America’s Worst Week Ever?

Dear U.S. Banks, Your Business Model Stinks

Shadow Banking Due for Some Time in the Spotlight

Weekly Wrap: Banking Slowly Dissolves?

Under the Roofs of Coffee Shops You’ll Find Your Online Bank

Brokerage Checking Still a Competitive Choice

Beware the Mirthful FOMC Meeting

Did ING Direct Customers Overreact to the Capital One Purchase?

No Balance Transfer Fee Offers Reappear But Hard to Exploit

Russell Simmons’ RushCard Lowers Fees, Is Still Bad

The Reason Why Freddie Mac Doesn’t Want to You to Refinance

New Bank Perks Cater to Tech-Savvy Customers

St. Louis Fed President: Raise Interest Rates

Whitney Warns: Banks to Banish Middle Class

Dime Savings Cites Regulations in Switch to State Charter

FDIC to Banks: Start Lending Again!

Weekly Wrap: Grey Days and a Sideshow

Weekly Wrap: Banking’s Spring Is Still Far, Far Away

American Express and Gen Y: BFF?

Dollar General to Carry Western Union Prepaid Cards
Dollar General will now serve as a quasi-provider of financial services for the underbanked. The discount small-box retailer will begin offering two different Western Union prepaid cards in 10,000 of its stores.

It will offer the Western Union MoneyWise card, Western Union’s standard reloadable prepaid option, as well as the Western Union Telemundo card. Both are run through MasterCard’s debit network, and have similar fee schedules.

The Telemundo card in particular is aimed at Western Union’s Hispanic customer base.

“The Western Union Telemundo card has been very successful among Hispanic consumers,” said Tim Sloane, director of prepaid advisory service at Mercator, in prepared remarks. “The card combines two brands Hispanics trust: Western Union for financial services and Telemundo for information.”

Neither card is a new offering, but pairing with a discount store like Dollar General certainly increases Western Union’s reach with its target consumers: poorer Americans who are more likely to rely on alternative financial services. Dollar General will hardly be the first to recognize the wisdom of selling prepaid cards in a discount retail environment. Walmart sells a number of prepaid cards in its stores, and Kmart just introduced one of its own last week.

The cards are both decently priced, the sole exception being a shortcoming that comes from being Western Union cards: the reloading fees. The cards have no monthly fee, no transaction fees, and allow for free direct deposit. They charge $1.95 per ATM withdrawal, plus whatever the ATM charges — this can quickly add up, but assuming consumers use the cards to pay where they cannot pay with cash, maybe not so bad. And, worst of all, both cards charge $4.95 for every reload. This is Western Union’s core business after all: moving money around for consumers who have no other options.

Also, the cards also charge an inactivity fee of $2.95 after 120 consecutive days of non-use.

It’s not the most generous prepaid card, but it’s hardly the worst. Their placement at Dollar General will certainly make them easier to find than, say, a bank’s much more competitive prepaid offerings — but we pay a price for convenience.

Äë˙ ďĺ÷ŕňč

Weekly Wrap: Astrology is Bunk

Refinancing Your Mortgage Lines the Pockets of the Biggest Banks

Experian Unveils New Credit Score for the Underbanked

New Upromise Credit Card Gives 10% Cash Back at Major Online Retailers

The Best Experiences Your Credit Card Can Buy This Summer

Citi Offers New Way to Spend Rewards

Fed Study: CD Rates Are Less Attractive

Wells Fargo Raised Checking-Account Fee, Slashed Bill-Pay Fee

Weekly Wrap: Get Bullied, Get Rich

Taibbi: No Difference Between Banks and the Mafia

Why You Should Probably Raise Your Credit Limit, Especially When You Don’t Want the Money

Accounts Push Relationship Banking

Weekly Wrap: LIBOR Aside, You’re Still in Control

dumps shop

Fed Report Shows Mobile Banking Empowers the Underbanked

Top Gas Credit Cards to ‘Refill’ Your Wallet

Prepaid Cards for Payroll Purposes: Fair to Workers?

Weekly Wrap: Mobile Banking’s Onward March

Banks Close Revenue Gap from Overdraft Fee Losses

Banks Lack Social Media Efforts… Oh Really?

SpringCoin: Out to Automate Credit Counseling

Could Student Loan Forgiveness Help the Economy?

Chase United MileagePlus Club Card Takes Flight

Caviar and Champagne With Your Checking Account?

Weekly Wrap: Cash Rules Everything Around You? Not For Long

SmarterBank’s Checking Account Helps Pay Off Student Loans

Chinese Furious Over Banking Fees

Banks Should Use Prepaid Cards to Hook ‘Em While They’re Young

Prepaid Travel Debit Card Provider Eyes U.S.

Sallie Mae Credit Card Helps Pay Back Student Loans

Post-CARD Act, Banks Shift to Prepaid on Campus

Weekly Wrap: Things Are Not as They Seem

Gen Y Eyes Retirement with Rose Tinted Glasses

Low Interest Rates: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Are Discover Partner Gift Cards Worth the Rewards Points?

Kony Solutions’ Branding Problem: Bank Software Firm Has Killer’s Name

Weekly Wrap: Fancy Gadgetry, No Money

Weekly Wrap: Millenials’ Big Day at the Races

UFB Direct Adds Money Market Account With 1.15% APY