Do Not Pass Go, But Get Your Cash Back on a Questionable Debit Card

For-profit companies making money out of service fees from jail-issued debit cards

#Money

Wed, Aug 3rd, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Nation, instead of being handed back the cash you had on when you were arrested, on release police will now give you a Numi Prestige Prepaid MasterCard. While this appears as an efficient way of handling the process, the article points out that the cards are filled with a large number of service fees benefiting solely the "many for-profit players" in a now "increasingly privatized prison industry."

Numi Financial describes itself as a “leader in stored value card solutions for the criminal justice and corrections industry.” Its parent company, Stored Value Cards, based in Carlsbad, California, provides debit-card services to jails in 44 states through Numi Financial and Futura Card Services, issued by banks. The terms for the card used in Multnomah County lists 11 possible fees—the $5.95 monthly fee, a $2.95 fee for ATM withdrawals, $0.95 for a declined transaction, $1 to check the balance, and $9.95 to have the balance refunded by check. Some cards have as many as 19 fees, a maintenance fee as high as $15 a month, and higher fees for international transactions. As for the banks that issue prepaid cards like these, they spent, on average, only 10.3 cents per transaction in 2013, including processing and third-party fees, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.

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