Joe Proto, a payments executive and founder of several technology companies, is the new board chairman at prepaid card marketer The SpendSmart Co.

Proto is presently the chairman and CEO of Transactis, an electronic billing company, and is the founder of Remitco, a remittance processing company that was acquired by First Data in 2000. Proto also founded Financial Telesis — a payment processor that was acquired by CoreStates, a bank that was later purchased by Wells Fargo. Proto is additionally a founding partner of Windham Ventures, which invests in life sciences and technology companies.

Mike McCoy, SpendSmart’s CEO, will remain in that position and will continue to serve on the company’s board. Jesse Itzler has resigned from his post as board chairman to devote more time to his family, SpendSmart said.

SpendSmart has had several company names over the past few years. In 2009, the company changed its name from IdeaWise to Social Wise shortly after launching a youth-oriented payments product. The company later changed its name again, to BillMyParents.

Earlier this year, the company changed its name again — to SpendSmart — as part of an effort to promote responsible spending. SpendSmart’s product line includes a prepaid card endorsed by Justin Bieber.

"SpendSmart is evolving. We are expanding our prepaid debit card focus with broader payment offerings, mobile merchant-centric consumer loyalty and rewards solutions, and prepaid program management services for both government and business," Proto said in a Dec. 3 press release. "The company is well positioned to capitalize on these growth opportunities and I look forward to actively working with the executive team to lead the direction of SpendSmart in the extensive payments space."

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