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Prepaid debit card providers are adding an array of features to differentiate their products, and a savings-account option slowly is gaining traction. Houston-based FSV Payment Systems Inc. Monday announced the launch of a savings-account program available to holders of its PaycheckPLUS! payroll and general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards. Unbanked and underbanked users of the program who do not have a convenient way to save for near and long-term financial goals will particularly benefit, Jonathan Palmer, FSV president and CEO, tells CardLine sister publication ATM&Debit News. Such consumers often use money orders as a savings mechanism, Palmer says. "They'll buy a money order every payday, put it away, and that's their savings account," he says. The savings option enables payroll card users to have a portion of their wages deposited into the account each pay period. Cardholders need as little as $10 to open a savings account online or by phone. The accounts are FDIC-insured, and no monthly fee is charged to maintain them. FSV is partnering with three of its issuing banks to provide the savings accounts with interest at "competitive rates." The rate varies by institution, but they are similar to a regular savings account, Palmer says. Metropolitan National Bank of New York is one of the issuing banks. FSV declined to reveal the two other banks. Palmer does not expect high use of the savings option at the start, but he hopes users will help spread the word about the program's advantages.

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