NetSpend partners with Western Union to offer co-branded prepaid card

netspendTSYS subsidiary NetSpend announced on Monday that it has partnered with Western Union to develop a co-branded prepaid card that will be available to American consumers later this year.

The Center for Financial Services Innovation estimates that approximately 68 million Americans are financially underserved or unbanked, many of whom turn to prepaid cards to help manage their finances. Prepaid card use among the unbanked, according to the FDIC, rose from 12 percent to 18 percent between 2009 and 2011.

NetSpend, which offers prepaid card products and related financial services, and Western Union will develop the co-branded card using NetSpend’s integrated payments platform.

The companies plan to offer the card through some of their distribution networks—NetSpend has a network of 70,000 distribution locations, and Western Union offers its services through a network that includes retail and grocery chains, independent businesses and banks.

“Combining the strengths of Western Union’s global brand and expertise in moving money with NetSpend’s deep prepaid knowledge and unique product capabilities, creates an incredible opportunity for us to better serve an underserved market,” NetSpend CEO Dan Henry said. “Our two companies share a commitment to giving customers more and better choices for managing their money.”

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