The prepaid card marketer NetSpend is working with Western Union to launch a prepaid card this year.
The co-branded prepaid card will include custom features developed on NetSpend's platform. The companies plan to disclose the card's features, pricing and availability when the product launches. NetSpend, a unit of TSYS, has a network of 70,000 distribution locations and 130,000 reload points.
"Combining Western Union's expertise in moving money with NetSpend's prepaid knowledge and unique product capabilities creates an opportunity for us to better serve an underserved market," says Dan Henry, chief executive of NetSpend, in an April 21 press release.
Nearly 68 million Americans are financially underserved or lack access to traditional forms of banking, according to Center for Financial Services Innovation data cited in the press release. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. estimates that the percentage of unbanked households that used a prepaid card rose from 12% to 18% from 2009 to 2011, according to data cited in the release.