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1.4.4.4 The Players in Prepaid and Payroll Cards

General-use prepaid cards and payroll cards are essentially a type of debit card without a traditional bank account attached.

However, if a consumer does not obtain the card directly from a financial institution (and even sometimes if he or she does), there is typically an entity— the “program manager,” such as NetSpend, InComm Financial Services, Inc. (Vanilla Cards), Green Dot,86 or Conduent87—that acts as an intermediary between the consumer and the issuing bank or handles some of the functions of the card. Although the card is ultimately issued by a bank that holds the funds, the program manager typically markets the card, sets the fees, and handles customer service.

With payroll cards, a payroll processing company like ADP may also play the role of a program manager.

Footnotes

  • 86 {85} Green Dot Corporation serves as a program manager for both its own wholly owned subsidiary, Green Dot Bank, and also for other banks.

  • 87 {86} Conduent is the former Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) business that was spun off from Xerox. Conduent is the program manager for the Direct Express Card used for Social Security payments and other payroll and government prepaid card programs.