European e-money issuer, Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), has been selected to provide the first product line, a prepaid Mastercard®, to customers of innovative Belgian cooperative society, NewB.
NewB is aiming to rebuild trust in the financial sector via a more sustainable, ethical and transparent approach where profit is not the main objective. It was founded by 24 NGOs in 2011 and generated more than 50,000 members, including over 138 civil society organisations via crowdfunding techniques. Rabobank, the largest cooperative bank in Europe, is the custodian bank.
The NewB prepaid card will be available to customers as both a physical and virtual version, under the GOODPAY label to highlight the feel good factor associated with the card. NewB’s core values are clearly manifested in the new card programme:
Renewable: the card is made of a renewable material called polylactic acid which comes from non-genetically engineered corn. NewB is also working with ecological partners to give customers an indication of the ecological footprint of consumption based on their spend.
Transparent: the intrinsic need to preload the card ensures customers will be better able to manage their day-to-day budget, and the availability of a special ‘no name’ NewB card means users can protect their privacy where necessary. The user can also deactivate and reactivate their own card and parents can monitor the spending of minors.
Socially-conscious: a 5 eurocent donation to charity is made by the card issuer every time the card is used and where no charity is designated, the donation will be made to NewB which is also a co-operative society.
Low-cost: the NewB card belongs to the 50% tier of cheapest prepaid bank cards offered in Belgium and is free as long as a minimum of one payment is made per month. Payments and loading the card are free by transfer or standing order.
Dirk Coeckelbergh, Managing Director of NewB said: “We chose to work with Prepaid Financial Services because not only do they have a heritage in delivering successful prepaid card programmes across Europe including working directly with other challenger banks, but also their management is extremely business minded, open for ethical evolutions and dares to go beyond traditional boundaries.
Noel Moran, CEO of PFS said: “This is banking but not as we know it. There is a huge appetite for more responsible but less commercially-driven organisations in the financial sector which makes it a truly exciting time to be working with a NewB in Belgium and developing the market for prepaid cards. We are delighted to have been selected by NewB and hope to develop further product lines for the bank as their customer base expands in the future.”