Bank Customer Alert, Network Branded Pre-Paid Card users Alert; Pre-paid Bank Card users ALERT

Comments for consumers appear at the end of this posting. I was reluctant to post this message because I believe that METABANK and the NBPCA study consumer’s achilles tendons ( our weaknesses and vulnerabilities). Would I be giving them more ways to scam the general public, I worried. On the other hand, the general public needs clear and accurate information. Please ask at your local library if they have the following or if they would order it for your local community.

Michelle Singletary notes that  “Game reveals spending attitudes”

Written by

Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post

FILED UNDER    Business

WASHINGTON — We don’t talk about money enough. There are lots of discussions about spending habits, especially this time of year, but the conversations that will keep people from making major financial blunders often never take place.

So Syble Solomon, who gives lectures on the psychology of money, came up with a creative way to get people to open up about their finances. She’s created “Money Habitudes,” a deck of cards ($14.95, LifeWise) that individuals, couples and groups can use to explore how certain attitudes support or sabotage their financial lives. This simple but extraordinarily insightful game is the Color of Money Book Club selection for December. When I come across a tool I think is useful, I’ll recommend it instead of a book. The point of my picks is always to expose you to good personal finance information.

I saw the cards being played during a professional education course that Solomon conducted last month at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work in Baltimore. The class was part of the school’s Financial Social Work Initiative, which provides education and tools to social workers who help people achieve economic stability.

“The cards are a non-threatening, easy-to-use tool that allows people to talk about financial topics that are often difficult,” said Robin McKinney, director of the Maryland CASH campaign, a statewide network of organizations that promotes financial stability for working families.

Her organization has used the Money Habitudes cards for about five years, both in training sessions as well as with individual clients. “We usually don’t think about how we feel about money or how we act with it, much less where those feelings and or actions come from,” she said.

In each deck are 68 cards, including three blue ones labeled:

That’s me!

That’s not me!

That’s sometimes me or that’s partially true.

The deck features white statement cards arranged into these six money habits:

Security. Money helps you feel safe and secure.

Targeted goals. Money helps you achieve certain goals.

Status. Money is often used to create a certain image.

Selfless. You are very generous, sometimes jeopardizing your own financial security.

Spontaneous. You like to use money to enjoy the moment.

Free spirit. Money is not a priority.

The cards you choose indicate which money habits may affect your financial behaviors. For example, one statement in the “Spontaneous” category reads: “We only live once so it is important to seize the moment and not worry about the cost.” (That’s not me.)

A card labeled “Security” says, “I have a difficult time spending money unless it is for something practical or functional.” (That’s me.)

There are several different ways to play the cards. In one version of the game, participants use the three blue cards to create three piles. As you read each statement card, you quickly place it in the pile depending on whether you believe the assertion applies to you, doesn’t apply or sometimes applies.

Renee A. Perry, like many who attended Solomon’s class, came away with help for herself and her clients.

“My first thought was this game is going to be very useful for my clients. However, after several minutes I was thinking I need this, too,” said Perry, a therapist. “With the holidays here, some of my clients are really stressed out because they think they have to buy a lot of gifts. Having the cards will help me enlighten them about their spending habits and how they feel and think about money.”

What I like about this money game is there’s no judgment. Solomon lists the advantages and disadvantages of each money habit. For example, you may be great at saving money, but are you able to splurge sometimes without guilt? The point of the game isn’t to label some habits bad and others good. The ultimate goal is to help people reach a balance in how they handle their money, she said.

So get a deck of these cards and start talking.

I’ll be hosting a live online discussion about “Money Habitudes” at noon Eastern time on Jan. 12 at washingtonpost.com/conversations. Solomon will join me to answer your questions.

Every month, I randomly select readers to receive a copy of the featured book, which is donated by the publisher. In this case, for a chance to win a deck of the Money Habitudes cards, send an email to colorofmoney @ washpost.com with your name and address. I’ll be giving away adult, teen and Spanish-language decks. Please indicate which you prefer.

You can buy the cards on Solomon’s website, http://www.moneyhabitudes.com. To receive free shipping, type “color” in the coupon code box. The cards are also available on Amazon.com.

____________________________

Dear Consumers:

Trust me that all of the spending habits have been studied by METABANK/BANKMETA and the NBPCA, but with the idea of using them to their advantage and financial gain. This is how they market their card to you and why they appear to offer so many different kinds of cards when it is in reality only the same card, but with a different name or color.

You, as a consumer, must be aware of the ways that you play right into the hands of predatory bank practices and seek solutions. Time and time again, we have learned that the banks don’t care about their customer’s well-fare and well-being.

You, as the consumer, must do everything possible to protect yourselves from banks like METABANK/BANKMETA and the NBPCA that they founded to promote their own financial interests.

This blog site was created because I was scammed by METABANK. Then I learned that METABANK had done the same thing to other consumers. Lying and pushing blame off onto the customer for their internal management that causes great pain and difficulties off onto the consumer. Holding our money interest free is what Pre-Paid Cards are all about, but METABANK made our own money inaccessible to us; this is fraud. This is a crime, a moral crime.

Promises on the METABANK and NBPCA websites are so positive and glowing, but in reality their customer service is a scam. METABANK/BANKMETA and the NBPCA must be stopped from doing business as they have. Only you as the consumer can get these kinds of practices to stop.

Vote

Then make sure that your elected officials hear your problems and ask them for solutions that benefit the general public and not the greedy banks who put us into a financial crisis i the first place.

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