In the old days, people could open up interest-bearing checking and savings accounts at Post Office. It was a way of providing cheap accounts to people of all stripe. Those accounts may be making a comeback.
According to this TIME article, nine million families in the United States are “unbanked” which means they do not have access to a checking out savings account at a bank or credit union. It also means that they have a higher risk of being the target of robbery and violent crime. To help people, there is an idea of bringing back the checking and savings accounts accounts offered through the Post Office.
Some want to have the government to subsidize accounts at private firms (like Wells Fargo, Chase, PNC, etc.) while others like the option of providing products and services to the people that need them directly through the government.
Today I read an article about Mango Money prepaid cards that made me scratch my head. In case you haven’t heard of the new prepaid card offered from MasterCard and distributed through Wal-Mart, here’s a break down of what the card is and how it works. Basically, it’s a prepaid card that allows you to have access to a debit card though you don’t have an account. You pay $10 upfront and … well, I don’t really understand what happens after that. The Mango Money site says that you can load money from another bank account (huh?), have it transferred from one Mango Money account to a different Mango Money account or pay $5 to have your funds loaded onto your card by purchasing a Green Dot refill card at Wal-Mart. Do I really have to say it? WTH?
Nothing about this makes any sense. You want to have access to your funds? Open an account at a local credit union. You want to pay few fees to manage your money? Open an account at a local credit union. You don’t want to carry around your paycheck in cash? OPEN AN ACCOUNT AT A CREDIT UNION.
In case you aren’t clear: Mango Money wants to charge you to use your hard earned money.
Mango Money = bad.
Credit Unions = good.
Locate a credit union by visiting the Credit Union Coop and putting in your zip code.