PREPAID CARDS are tailor made to reach a broader group of people, but really more to scam them

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  • Student Cards  

Students have complained over and over again that METABANK and that banks like METABANK (METABANK operates using many different names.) put a random stops or holds on their PREPAID CARD without notice to the student customer. METABANK indicates that they have observed some potential terrorist activity on the card, but the student had only being shopping at all of their usual places. The hold prevented the students from paying their rent on time. METABANK doesn’t care about the pain that they cause their customer base because there are so many people out there that it is a business of volume, the number of people that METABANK can scam. METABANK doesn’t care if they lose a few customers here and there. The card may work for a period of time so some people think that it is fine; it is in the big picture where METABANK’s PREPAID CARDS fail all consumers. METABANK has full control of the consumer’s money, uses their money, keeps them from accessing their own money as a consumer, pushes the blame for any and all problems off onto their customers so that they can keep doing what they do that makes METABANK lots and lots of money, and to do this, METABANK lies to their customer base regularly so that they can hold onto the consumer’s money, after all, the bank has all of the consumer’s money in their own control so METABANK and any bank operating like METABANK can say and do as they please. Honesty doesn’t seem to be as big of a moral issue for METABANK as it is to the consumer. STUDENT PREPAID CARDS are perhaps the most unscrupulous form of the PREPAID CARDS out there. The publicity plays up to the emotions and fears being felt by parents as to whether their child is up to the task of being able to manage their own money once out on their own. Parents believe that they are protecting their college student, and that is how these prepaid bank cards are promoted. The problem is that student and after student have complained that METABANK and other banks like METABANK have kept them from being able to access their own money when they have needed it the most. The college student is then being made far more vulnerable by using the PREPAID BANK CARD.

  • General Purpose Reloadable (Prepaid Debit Card) 

” A type of prepaid card typically purchased by a consumer for his/her personal use to pay for purchases, pay bills and/or access cash at ATMs. GPR cards may be purchased online and in retail locations from a variety of providers. Funds may be loaded onto the card by direct deposit of wages or benefits or at retail locations offering prepaid card reload services.”

METABANK then markets these General Purpose Re-loadable Cards in such a way that it appears that the card is tailor made for the proposed target audience, and as their customer you will be targeted right at your  “achilles tendon” – your weak spots are being studied and METABANK is honing in on them to market the exact same product to many different needs. The only change is in the kind of publicity being used to hook a customer and their money source.

The problem is that someone else has the control of your money and that entity is an impersonal and uncaring bank with unscrupulous principles and some incompetency added into the mix.

This card comes the closest to defining the card upon which I was scammed. METABANK took $5,000 in cash from me and held onto it during the time when I had told them that I would be using it. METABANK’s representatives had been instructed to push the blame off on to me as their customer. Later that year, I met someone else using the same card who encountered the identical problem, and METABANK told him that he hadn’t used the card properly. No business would take the METABANK CARD. So METABANK isn’t even concerned about providing good customer service; METABANK simply wants to control your money.

  • Payroll – 

“A Prepaid Card that is directly or indirectly established through an employer and to which electronic fund transfers of the cardholder’s wages, salary, or other employee compensation (such as commissions), are made on a recurring basis.”

While the money is on the card, the consumer doesn’t have actual use of their own compensation, salary coming in, wages or commissions, but the bank does. METABANK either has such an incompetent system of operating or is motivated by greed (or perhaps by both greed and incompetence) that they take over the consumer’s assets to METABANK’s advantage and not to the recipient of the PREPAID CARD.

This card requires the consumer to have their payroll associated with the prepaid bank card. It is in the administration of the prepaid card and the control by METABANK and any bank that operates using METABANK’s concepts  is given over of all of the customer’s money to an impersonal bank. This is the one that usually comes with a promise or the implication that the customer/consumer can improve their credit history because of the fact that the PREPAID CARD has an attached payroll being directly deposited into METABANK. This really gives METABANK all the control over the consumer’s money and assets. METABANK PREPAID CARD design is to keep them as impersonal with their client base as possible.

  • Incentive Cards

“Payment made to a consumer as a reward for purchasing a product or by a company to an employee as an incentive bonus.” It sounds like the product is going to be cheaper than it may actually turn out to be because the company gets all of your money upfront. It takes sometimes months before the rebate card will arrive. The bank and/or that company have your money to use during that time period to invest as they wish, but you don’t. It sounds like a great deal and it does help to sell products that you may have been going to buy anyway. There is a gimmick within the offer. Just think about who has control of your money when you don’t have it in your own hands or savings account.

Another kind of incentive card is given as a gift, like a bonus to employees who are then asked to push the card.  The card works well for part of the group being asked to promote the card off onto their friends, client base and family, who are then given cards with a different numbering system that alerted METABANK that they are to be the scammed group.

This scam has been spreading as it is being used to provide rebates. The promise of money back lures in customers and makes more money for the bank that issues the card.

  • Health Care

The NBPCA indicates that  the purpose of these cards is “Pre-tax Benefit cards linked to Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts (HRA); funds can be used to pay for current or future medical expenses.”

The term PRE-TAX BENEFIT is a lure that plays on the natural state of concern that most Americans have about being hit with huge medical expenses for which they can’t pay. This is a gimmick to tap into a fear that many Americans have about our health care coverage.

Bank locally at a bank where you can walk in the door and speak face to face with someone. METABANK representatives find it easier to scam a person they aren’t looking at face to face. As a consumer, you need that human contact and compassion about you as a person if you are to get genuinely decent service.

  • Government Benefit Cards

“Prepaid cards used for the purpose of disbursing government payments such as Social Security payments, disability payments, disaster relief payments, WIC or Food Stamp disbursements or government payroll.”
Social Security payments and food stamps are on a prepaid card. They used to have food stamps in a printed version. The government is in full control of how much money is put one the card. The bank still gets the use of the money until it is spent. It is free interest income for the issuing bank. Much depends on which banks controls these funds.
I would urge the government to proceed cautiously in deciding which banks control these funds.
  • Gift Cards

“A prepaid card that is purchased by a gift giver to be given to a gift recipient.”

Please note that the bank is still getting free use and interest from any money placed on that card and not used. Many times these cards are not used and after a certain amount of time, the prepaid cards can’t be used without incurring addition fees for the recipient. They really aren’t that nice of a gift after all!!!

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