A new sub-prime on the way?

I was amazed to read in the Huffington Post that the Occupy Wall Street movement has plans to introduce a credit card.


This seems, as many have pointed out, alien to the movement’s original philosophy.  The scheme is to collect 900,000 dollars and to issue prepaid debit cards to those who would not normally qualify for credit.  Of course if people can amass say $50 to put on their debit card , then they might as well just pay cash for their purchases, one would think.  Charges on the proposed new card would be lower than on standard credit cards, but I still can’t see the point of the system.

Another site gives more details


The fee suggested is 99 cents per month.  So you put your $100 or whatever on your card and then pay another dollar a month for the privilege.  Might as well stick to the sock under the mattress – it’s free.

9 thoughts on “A new sub-prime on the way?”

  1. For those who have been jettisoned by the various financial institutes or don’t have the means to open an account I see the benefit of this.

    I’m surprised by the current trend among today’s youth to not carry cash, even the smallest purchase is paid for by card, when I questioned this I was told “if I’m mugged they don’t get my money.”

    Another benefit is of course internet purchases, can’t buy ‘owt on line with cash.

  2. Sheona, I expect the fragrant Wonga will soon team up with OWS to provide plastic access to next month’s pay-packet. Remember their mantra:.” I want it and I want it now.”

  3. You’re right, Soutie, I hadn’t thought of on-line shopping.

    Janus, from what I’ve read next month’s pay-packet might not be acceptable, which would be good. What if people lose their job?

  4. Sheona, one might ask the same of Wonga. I’m sure the penalties are painful, to say the least.

  5. This is an old idea by African standards. Kenya’s M-pesa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa
    and Zimbabwe’s Textacash http://www.cabs.co.zw/delivery-channels/textacash
    have been around for a while along with many other forms of ‘mobile payments’.

    These services are massive boon for the ‘unbanked’. Money can be credited to an account from anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of Western Union and traditional methods. People living in remote areas with limited means, can take their cards or cell phones (and believe me, everybody has at least one cell phone, many have two (one for calls and one for data)) and use them to buy products, pay bills, (ranging from electricity to school fees and even speeding fines) or withdraw cash.

    The cards can be branded by the merchants who issue them and messages such as “Occupy Wall Street” would be a cinch.

    One of the interesting things about the poorer parts of the world is that because there is so little infrastructure, technology such as mobile phones, the internet, Facebook and Twitter have been widely embraced. There are no land-lines and most people do not buy newspapers. They really understand how to use social networking and they find all sorts of ways to communicate and pay for things. In Zimbabwe we use the US$ which raises a number of issues. The government cannot print money to increase the money supply and there is no change for a dollar. In a country where incomes may be only a few dollars a day, every cent counts. Mobile money enables people to buy something for 50 cents without having to receive change from a dollar in the form of sweets or ball point pens.

  6. Seriously interesting about Africa. The boy said it was the same in the Stans, no money, literally.
    I still stick to the sock method, far easier to control and far easier to keep money out of the hands of those who would waste it, ie any govt!

  7. Thanks for that info, Sipu. I’m just wondering how people earning only a few dollars a day manage to have a cell phone, let alone two.

  8. Second hand from the West I expect.
    Only Westerners would be stupid enough to pay several hundred pounds for a piece of rubbish!

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