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2012 Press Archive

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How Can I Help You? Plastyc's Call Center Moves to South Dakota with Midco Connections

To help provide its customers with a more rewarding customer care experience, Plastyc announced that effective immediately, phone-based customer support services are handled by a Sioux Falls-based contact center operated by Midco Connections.
Plastyc chose Midco because its customer care professionals are known for their fast, helpful, naturally friendly manner and clear, Midwestern English, and because Midco's flexible technology meets the highest security standards.

"When you have a question about your money, you don't just need fast, correct answers, you need to trust the people you're talking to and leave the call feeling satisfied," said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. "Midco's exceptional, US-based professionals help make our cardholders' support calls more personal and rewarding."

Plastyc’s UPside prepaid cardholders can get help by phone 24 x 7 for lost or stolen cards, transaction disputes, inquiries about deposits, and help with unique features such as on-demand paper checks, mobile phone top ups and cash back rewards. In addition, Plastyc provides email-based customer support out of its New York facility.

Cardholders can be assured that all information is protected. As a PCI-DSS Level 1 Certified contact center, Midco Connections meets the strict security standards, policies and procedures necessary to handle card transaction data and cardholder information. And, while Midco Connections does not directly process the banking data, the certification assures clients such as Plastyc that Midco will provide secure storage of customer data.

“We are pleased to have Midco help us with increasing the level of trust that consumers place in our products and in the co-branded cards we operate for other businesses,” Peyret said.

“Midco Connections is truly excited about the opportunity to deliver customer support for a leader in the prepaid and financial services markets," said Midco Vice President Cordell Brooks. "The Plastyc program delivers a complete financial service to customers, and our organization is positioned to deliver leading edge quality in support of the Plastyc mission.”

About Midco Connections
Midco Connections is a wholly owned subsidiary of Midcontinent Media and supports locations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota. Midco was founded in 1982 as a Telephone Answering Service, and in just a few years it became clear that our customers wanted more than just an answering service – they wanted comprehensive customer care offering product knowledge, transaction information, answers to callers’ questions, data intake ability and above all excellent customer care. In short, they wanted quality call center services. Find more information about Midco Connections at

CFSI publishes Impact Profile on Plastyc

By Jessica Kumar:
Plastyc was one of the first companies to commit to CFSI's Compass Principles. Plastyc’s solutions come in the form of online-only products, UPside cards and iBankUP, which are intended to be full replacements for checking accounts. Plastyc addresses the desires of people who would otherwise live in a cash economy. Plastyc started with a model to serve the “too young to be banked,” but now delivers most of its services to the traditionally underserved, as well as to the growing number of “strivers” who prefer to manage their money online and by phone with the lowest possible fees. Download the full Impact Story.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and Chexar Networks, Inc. (“CHEXAR”) announced today the launch of a network platform to digitize traditional banking services for consumers. Initially, the platform will enable millions of Visa prepaid users to deposit paper checks to their reloadable Visa prepaid card using their mobile device, by simply snapping a photo of a paper check. Powered by Chexar’s technology, including its remote deposit capture platform, the service provides Visa cardholders with immediate access to check funds on their Visa prepaid card, enhancing convenience and security and reducing costs for consumers. Later this year, new and existing prepaid cardholders with RushCard, AccountNow, Plastyc, and FSV Payment Systems will be able to enroll their Visa prepaid card, and immediately begin making remote deposits.

The platform will support check deposits to Visa cards, funds transfers between Direct Deposit Accounts (DDAs) and payment cards, person-to-person payments and bill payment services whether in-person, online, on a mobile device or at an ATM. Transactions originate and terminate with a financial institution partner and consumer funds sit within an FDIC-insured account. As consumers move between devices and deposit channels, their prepaid account now moves seamlessly with them and works reliably from any device. Chexar predicts that 11 percent (770 million) of consumer checks will be deposited using a mobile device by 2016.

“We see this network utility as more than a technology, it’s an evolution in the way people deposit and move funds and our goal is to make that process frictionless and immediate for consumers,” said Drew W. Edwards, Chexar founder and CEO. “It’s no secret that reloadable prepaid cards are growing in popularity, and we are happy to provide consumers with a secure and convenient way to deposit funds and have immediate access to their money. Our agreement with Visa represents an inflection point for the prepaid industry, and will only grow as mobile devices become more ubiquitous.”

According to Visa research, nearly 35 million consumers receive wages and government disbursements via paper check and 34 percent of the study’s participants revealed that direct deposit was not an option available through their employer. Additionally, a study of payment trends by McKinsey & Company estimated $1.18 trillion in person-to-person payments were made by check in 2009. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, more than 28 percent of U.S. households in 2011 weren’t connected to the traditional banking system. As an alternative, many consumers have turned to prepaid. In 2011, prepaid card use rose by 18 percent according to Javelin Strategy and Research.

“Consumers are choosing reloadable prepaid cards at an increasing rate, and for many of the same reasons that consumers embrace other electronic payment options — security, convenience and reliability,” said Hyung Choi, head of U.S. Prepaid, Visa Inc. “Mobile technology and other payment innovations are enabling us to enhance Visa’s prepaid experience and bring all the conveniences of traditional banking options to consumers who choose to use prepaid.”

Reloadable Visa prepaid cards offer a secure, convenient and cost-effective alternative to cash and checks, providing consumers a better way to make everyday purchases, pay bills and now, make check deposits. As with all Visa prepaid products, users can make purchases everywhere that Visa debit cards are accepted — in stores, online or over the phone.

About Visa:
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 24,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About Chexar:
CHEXAR® is the national leader for technology and solutions for converting paper checks into Good Funds defined as irreversible value. Chexar is currently deploying Spyke™ — The Good Funds Network™, as the market’s leading solution to enable any consumer to convert any type of check into Good Funds from mobile and other remote capture devices.

The company’s one-of-a-kind solutions combine multiple national databases, rules engines and proprietary technology with redundant 24/7 risk management centers to achieve the industry’s highest automated and overall approval rates without limiting check type and size. Today thousands of large financial institution and non-bank financial services provider locations utilize Chexar’s technology and solutions to generate fee income and manage risk.

Chexar’s solutions are deployed across multiple platforms including turnkey point of sale solutions, assisted and self-service kiosk solutions, mobile devices, and full XML integrations. The company operates two risk management centers 24/7 with almost 400 seats to assist its clients in real-time check review and risk management.

    Now UPside Visa Customers Can Add Cash to Cards Instantly at Walmart
Plastyc announced that effective immediately, UPside Visa cardholders can instantly load money to their cards at the register at Walmart stores throughout the US.

The Plastyc UPside Visa cards are part of Walmart Rapid Reload, a new service announced that will accept reloadable cards affiliated with the Green Dot Network, InComm's Vanilla Reload Network and First Data's Money Network. Available in more than 3,800 Walmart stores nationwide, customers can add money to their card at any register for $3.74. There are no forms to fill out, no scratch-off PINs and no need to make a phone call or visit a website to complete the reload.

"UPside cardholders often are quick to use new features that improve convenience and affordability. We are excited to offer them Rapid Reload at Walmart stores," said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc.

After using Rapid Reload, UPside cardholders can immediately use the deposited cash to pay bills online, shop anywhere Visa is accepted, withdraw cash from an ATM or cash-back from the grocery store, top off cell phone minutes, even issue paper checks from their mobile or online account.

    Families Avoid Payday Loans and Pawn Shops Using Prepaid Card Savings Feature, Study Finds
In a study of prepaid cardholders, families reported becoming less reliant on payday loans and pawn shops when funds are needed by tapping into savings accumulated using an easy and accessible savings feature of their prepaid card.

The study was conducted by D2D Fund, a non-profit organization co-founded by Peter Tufano, dean of Oxford University's Saïd Business School and former Harvard Business School professor, to help strengthen financial opportunity for low and moderate income consumers through new financial products and policies. D2D and Plastyc, Inc. collaborated to design a new savings feature on the UPside Card, which launched in November 2011, to help consumers set money aside for a rainy day. In July 2012, D2D Fund surveyed customers of Plastyc, Inc.'s UPside Card to determine how the card's Rainy Day Reserve feature affected families' savings habits and responses to financial emergencies.

Findings of the study included the following:

  1. Low barriers to access reduced the cost of trying it. Linking the savings tool to a prepaid card and requiring no minimum deposits or balances helped reduce barriers to testing the new feature. 62 percent of the survey participants said they started using the Rainy Day Reserve feature because "it seemed like a good idea" and 49 percent said they started saving using the features because "it seemed easy to try".
  2. The diversity of the Rainy Day Reserves features has helped people save. 79 percent of participants reported that the Rainy Day reserve has helped them save, with features including the mobile app, the ability to automate savings amount and frequency and a pop up reminder message at withdrawal helping consumers save and hold onto their savings.
  3. Savers felt better prepared for financial emergencies. 88 percent said they used their Rainy Day Reserve funds to help pay for emergencies and 79 percent said they feel more confident about handling future financial emergencies. With access to the rainy day reserve, consumers have also reported reducing their reliance on alternatives such as pay day loans and pawn shops.

"About half of Americans are unprepared for a financial emergency with low to moderate income households even more financially vulnerable," said Sarika Abbi, the Director of Ideation at D2D Fund. "This study indicates that prepaid cards with savings features like the Rainy Day Reserve can be effective tools to help households save and cope with financial emergencies."

"When Plastyc introduced Rainy Day Reserve last November, our goal was to help our customers save more by making it easy and rewarding," said Patrice Peyret. "To see this kind of validation this early is hugely gratifying."

Since the launch of the Rainy Day Reserve , more than 5,500 consumers have deposited over $5.4 million into the Rainy Day Reserve savings feature. 88 percent of the participants surveyed have an annual household income under $60,000 and 24 percent under $20,000. 58 percent of the households surveyed have dependent children, and 56% are un- or under-banked, reporting no checking or savings account at a traditional financial institution.

Ms. Abbi is presenting these and additional findings tomorrow at the 2012 Assets Learning Conference in Washington D.C. These findings in addition to more in depth insights into the savings behavior of households using the Rainy Day Reserve will be made available in an upcoming publication by D2D.

About D2D Fund
Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund strengthens the financial opportunity and security of low and moderate income consumers by innovating, incubating and stimulating new financial products and policies. Operating at the intersection of the private, non-profit and public sectors, D2D incubates and promotes practical applications with social impact that might otherwise lack a champion to nurture and bring them to market. D2D was incorporated as a 501(c)3, non-for-profit organization in 2000 and is headquartered in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, across the street from Harvard University's recently opened Innovation Lab. For more on D2D, go to

   655 Percent Three-Year Revenue Growth Lands Plastyc on Inc. 500/5000 List
Plastyc, provider of the UPside and iBankUP money management services, is among the top 50 fastest growing private companies in New York City with three-year revenue growth of 655 percent according to the 2012 Inc. 500/5000 list of America's fastest growing companies.

Plastyc provides FDIC-insured online and mobile banking accounts for young and underbanked customers. The company debuted on the list in 33rd for financial services companies, 45 for New York City companies and 564th overall.

"We are growing rapidly because we provide high-quality, affordable options for people who feel shut out by big banks on one end and exploited by check cashers on the other," said Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret. "Clearly, more and more people feel that way."

Helping to spur Plastyc's growth are recent developments including:

  • Smartphone apps that provide complete mobile banking services for UPside and iBankUP account cardholders.
  • A Swipe-and-Load feature allowing account holders to add cash to their prepaid cards instantly at over 6,500 7-Eleven stores throughout the U.S.
  • A savings purse that makes it simple to set aside money for a rainy day and to participate in SaveUp, a program that rewards people for saving money.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

About Inc.
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today's innovative company builders. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today. For more information, visit

   Plastyc Launches Kindle Fire App for UPside Visa
Like Plastyc's apps for Android and iPhone devices, the UPside Visa app for Kindle Fire enables a full range of mobile banking activities. These include activating new accounts, signing up for direct deposit, redeeming cash back points, paying bills, transferring funds to friends, issuing paper checks, checking balances and reviewing transaction histories. The display is optimized for the Fire's larger screen, and its MoneyPak retail locator feature searches by zip code to accommodate the Fire's lack of a global position system.

According to recent analysis in The Atlantic, the Kindle Fire sells the most in mid-sized cities in the Midwest and South, with college towns topping the list. UPside Visa and iBankUP are designed to provide a more mobile and cost-effective alternative to checking accounts for young adults or people underserved by traditional banks. The customer bases are a natural fit.

"It is surprising how few Kindle Fire apps there are for core banking services given how dominant mobile is becoming and how many Kindle Fire devices are out there," said Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret. "We aim to help fill that gap as the first mobile banking product for the underbanked with a native Kindle Fire app."

The UPside Visa app for Kindle Fire employs the highest security standards to protect account information. For instance, the app encrypts all local data and does not store or transmit sensitive cardholder information. The app requires an additional password for all spending transactions, and it logs out the user out automatically after 5 minutes of inactivity.

The UPside Visa app for Kindle Fire is available immediately for free in the Amazon Appstore.

   Mobile Banking for the Underbanked: Plastyc CEO to Speak at Payments 2012
Mobile banking and payment capabilities are critical to the underbanked according to Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret, who will join industry experts from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and Citibank in a panel session on the topic today at the Payments 2012 conference in Baltimore, MD.

Over 75 percent of people who have accounts with Plastyc's iBankUP and UPside Visa prepaid services, which are tailored for young and underbanked customers, have smartphones and use them frequently to make payments, load cash, confirm direct deposits, check balances and more. Customers also set alerts on their smartphones to warn when balance dip to a certain level or when payments arrive.

"While mobile payments are a nice-to-have for people with fat bank accounts, they are a must-have when you need to watch your finances more carefully," said Peyret. "Small screens can have a big impact on the underbanked."

"Phone apps make my banking even better because I don't have to go to the ATM or find a computer to check my account," said UPside Visa customer Ronald Williams from Merritt Island, Florida

In the session -- titled "Can Mobile Devices Be Used to Better Serve the Underbanked? -- panelists will explore opportunities for serving underbanked consumers through mobile channels. The discussion, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today, will include findings from a recently published CFSI white paper: "Compass Principles: Guiding Excellence in Financial Services".

Payments 2012, hosted by NACHA, the Electronics Payment Association, is the largest and most comprehensive payments educational event of its type — drawing decision makers and innovators from throughout the payments value chain. More than 2,500 professionals from organizations that are actively driving change and adoption of electronic payments are expected to attend.

   Refill Mobile Phone Minutes in 85 Countries with UPside Visa from Plastyc
Plastyc's mobile Top Up service makes it easy for UPside Visa and iBankUP account holders to add minutes to their own or other mobile phones directly from their accounts. Cardholders simply log in, enter a mobile phone number in any of 85 countries, select the refill dollar amount and go. The refill is performed in real time and the person receiving the message can received a confirmation text message with an optional personal message. All makes and models of prepaid phones and most carriers are supported

The service saves people in the US the hassle of buying refill packs and scratch cards for their own prepaid phones, and it provides a fast, easy way to send value to loved ones in other countries. Outside the US, prepaid mobile phone service is more common than contract service.

A prior version of the Top Up service offered 30 destination countries, including the world’s most populated countries and countries with large immigrant populations in the US such as China, India, Mexico and the Philippines. It quickly grew popular with Plastyc customers with homelands abroad.

With 55 additional countries offered, including more Latin American countries, African countries and the Caribbean, Plastyc expects the service to appeal to people in additional circumstances, such as parents with children who are traveling or families with loved ones overseas in the military.

"Adding minutes to family or friends abroad is a great gift. A top up of a few dollars can add hours of talk time to phones in many countries," said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. "We're thrilled to offer this unique service to UPside Visa and iBankup account holders and eager to hear from people how they are using it."

There is no fee for the service: people simply choose among the pre-defined amounts of airtime offered by the wireless carriers and pay that exact amount.

The service is powered by TransferTo, an Ingenico company and the leading global airtime transfer network.

   CFSI Proposes a Model Fee Disclosure Box for Prepaid Cards
Las Vegas, NV (March 13, 2012)—Today, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is proposing a standardized fee box for improving the transparency of general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards. A clear and effective fee disclosure box is an essential part of a high-quality prepaid product and bolsters prepaid as a valuable financial access tool. Three prepaid card providers – Green Dot, Plastyc, and Ready Credit - have committed to adopt or test CFSI’s proposed disclosure box. CFSI also calls on regulators to improve disclosures and other consumer protections for prepaid cards.

Most major prepaid card companies voluntarily disclose their fees in a list or box format. However, practices can vary widely and existing disclosures are not always easy to understand. “Consumers need to be able to easily determine the true cost of a prepaid card and compare different products before deciding which to purchase,” said David Newville, CFSI’s Policy Manager. “A well-designed fee box can help them make informed choices. By developing a simplified and standardized format, companies will ultimately attract more consumers to prepaid cards.”

Green Dot (, one of the largest prepaid companies with cards distributed at retail locations throughout the country, has been working on a new fee disclosure box in consultation with CFSI. It plans to introduce a new box on its card package this fall that is aligned with the key principles underlying CFSI’s proposals. “Green Dot has always been an advocate of clear, on-package fee disclosures and we are pleased to partner with the CFSI and fully support its effort to standardize the prepaid industry’s practices,” said Steve Streit, CEO of Green Dot. “Consumers should not have to worry about surprise fees hidden deep within cardholder agreements and we believe a model fee disclosure box, consistent across all products in the prepaid category, will have long-term benefits for the industry and its customers.”

Plastyc (, an online prepaid card company, has agreed to develop a fee disclosure box modeled after CFSI’s recommendations. “We are excited to incorporate this fee box into our prepaid offerings as a way for consumers to better understand and compare prepaid fees, and as a way of building customer loyalty,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “By making fees more understandable and transparent, we hope to help consumers trust our products and build allegiance to our brand and services.”

Further research is needed to test the fee box with consumers. Ready Credit Corporation (, a national prepaid and bill pay services company, has agreed to evaluate the effectiveness of a model fee box later this year. CFSI also calls on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do consumer testing of prepaid disclosures.

To see a copy of the proposed box and fee disclosure paper, or to read more about CFSI’s recommendations for prepaid cards and consumer protections, visit the CFSI website at

About CFSI: The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is the nation's leading authority on financial services for underserved consumers. Through insights gained by producing original research; promoting cross sector collaboration; advising organizations and companies by offering specialized consulting services; shaping public policy; and investing in nonprofit organizations and start-ups, CFSI delivers a deeply interconnected suite of services benefiting underserved consumers. Since 2004, CFSI has worked with leaders and innovators in the business, government and nonprofit sectors to transform the financial services landscape. CFSI is a strategic partner of Core Innovation Capital, which is an investor in Plastyc. For more on CFSI, go to

   Plastyc Launches Smartphone Apps for the Underbanked
Plastyc announced at the Prepaid Expo today new smartphone apps that provide complete mobile banking services for UPside Visa prepaid cardholders.

UPside Visa is Plastyc's award-winning prepaid program offering a premium suite of affordable banking services tailored for the up-and-coming youth and underbanked markets.

What's unique about the UPside Visa mobile apps for Android and iPhone are how they meet a complete range of personal banking needs, activating a new account, signing up for direct deposit, redeeming cash back points, paying bills, transferring funds to friends, issuing paper checks and more -- using just a smartphone. Of course, the apps enable the basics, such as checking balances and reviewing transaction histories, as well.

"Over 75 percent of our customers have smartphones. Now, with these apps, our prepaid cardholders truly have the power of a bank account in their phones. Walking into a bank branch and even logging into a computer no longer are necessary for good banking," said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc.

Plastyc's mobile apps can be downloaded immediately from the Android Market. The iPhone version will be available from the Apple AppStore in a few weeks.

In addition to using their UPside card anywhere Visa debit is accepted, the apps let cardholders use their smartphones to do the following:

  • Manage accounts: Verify cash and cash-back point balances, see latest transactions and prior months' statements, activate a new card or suspend a lost card, configure alerts.
  • Load funds: redeem a Green Dot MoneyPak®, access the account’s direct deposit number and send it to an employer or other payer.
  • Save: set money aside immediately into the account’s Rainy Day Reserve, or define a savings goal and program the account to set money aside automatically to reach that goal.
  • Pay on-the-go: pay online, send paper checks, reimburse a friend, add airtime minutes to prepaid phones.
  • Find: the nearest store to buy a MoneyPak or the nearest pharmacy to get discounted prescription drugs.
  • Get help: send customer service requests, call customer service or find answers to common questions.
  • Redeem rewards: redeem cash back points, monitor progress toward Premium status (in which all service fees are waived), get discounts on prescription drugs.

The apps include the highest levels of security to protect the account information. For instance, the apps encrypt all local data and do not store or transmit sensitive cardholder data. The apps require an additional password for all spending transactions, and they log out the user out automatically after 5 minutes of inactivity.

   Plastyc and IDology Partner to Better Serve the Underbanked Market
Plastyc integrates IDology’s identity verification solutions to streamline card approvals

ATLANTA– Plastyc Inc., a consumer financial services company, and IDology Inc, a leading identity verification provider today announced a partnership to better serve the prepaid card industry. Plastyc has integrated IDology’s identity proofing solutions within its Internet and mobile money management platform to perform automated CIP. This partnership will help make approvals more reliable and faster across its platform especially for under-banked applicants.

Plastyc provides affordable deposit, payment and saving financial services for people with limited access to, or distrust in large banks. Through its UPside cards and iBankUP portal, consumers are provided with the same conveniences of having a bank account but without risks of overdraft or credit.

“We give our customers the advantage of full banking services regardless of their prior experience with traditional bank accounts,” said Patrice Peyret, co-founder and CEO of Plastyc. “We found IDology’s solution to be the best in helping us make the Customer Identification Process (CIP) more reliable and convenient for our applicants”

IDology’s ExpectID solutions are being used to verify consumers enrolling for Plastyc’s services at and In addition, if a discrepancy exists in the initial CIP verification, IDology automatically escalates transactions to a higher level of verification. By incorporating IDology’s ExpectID IQ to generate out-of-wallet questions and verify someone is who they say they are, Playstic is able to efficiently verify people in a way that is friendlier for consumers than having to fax in a copy of a utility bill or some other sort of documentary evidence. Plastyc also uses IDology’s intuitive ID Notes feature to detect when certain conditions are associated with an ID, such as an address discrepancy, to ensure cards are being shipped to both the right place and person.

“Before we were relying on a manual verification process to resolve uncertainties with an identity,” said Peyret. “IDology’s services provide us with the right balance between resolving mistakes made by consumers and detecting someone trying to game the system and commit fraud.”

“Verifying people with either limited credit histories is an area in which we excel,” said John Dancu, CEO of IDology. “This partnership gives Plastyc an automated way to increase the number of issued cards and drive more revenue.”

About IDology, Inc.
IDology, Inc. provides real-time technology solutions that verify an individual's identity and age for anyone conducting business in consumer-not-present environments to help drive revenue, decrease costs, prevent fraud and meet compliance regulations. Founded in 2003, IDology is the only provider to offer an on-demand change management tool that allows client business-unit managers to control the entire identity proofing process, including within an integrated solution, without having to rely on internal IT resources or contact IDology's customer service. For more information, visit or call 866-520-1234.

   Serving the Consumer: Plastyc CEO to Speak at Prepaid Expo
Plastyc CEO, Patrice Peyret, will join top consumer advocates to explore how the prepaid card industry can better serve consumers in a panel session titled, "Serving the Consumer: At the Table with Consumer Advocates" at the Prepaid Expo, March 12 - 14 in Las Vegas

It's easy for providers to claim that a prepaid business puts the consumer first. But, what do consumer-centric prepaid products that add value for both the consumer and the provider really look like? In the session, experts will address what makes a high-quality prepaid card. The session will also explore how new guidelines can help prepaid businesses improve the value of financial services for the consumer, understand consumer groups' requirements for endorsing prepaid programs, and implement internal processes to comply with consumer advocacy standards.

"The prepaid card industry can do a lot of good, especially by providing alternatives to costly, risk payment services," said Peyret. "But, as an industry, we need to do a better job of tailoring products to meet consumers' needs better and more affordably than alternatives. That is the topic we will explore in this session."

Rachel Schneider, Vice President of Innovation and Research at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, will moderate the panel. In addition to Plastyc's Peyret, participants will include Michelle Jun, Senior Attorney with Consumers Union, the publisher of "Consumer Reports"; Lauren Saunders, Managing Attorney, National Consumer Law Center; Paul Hagy, Chief Legal Counsel at MetaBank and Dan Henry, CEO of NetSpend. "Serving the Consumer: At the Table with Consumer Advocates" will be held Tuesday, March 13 at 8:30 am.

Prepaid Expo is the gold standard of prepaid events with over 1,700 attendees and a six-year track record. Independent market research and an unbiased conference structure afford the entire stored value payments industry the opportunity to be inspired by provocative keynotes, connect with the leading companies in prepaid, and discover the regulatory issues, emerging and mobile payment technologies, distribution challenges, and consumer insights changing business.

Keynote speakers at the Prepaid Expo include Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group; Nick Bilton, Technology Columnist at the New York Times; and Wayne Best, Chief Economist at Visa, Inc.

   UPside Visa Named Winner in Sixth Annual Paybefore Awards
Plastyc announced today that Paybefore has chosen UPside Visa as a 2012 Paybefore Awards winner in the Best Consumer Value in Prepaid category. Paybefore Awards, now in its sixth year, is the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid and stored value card industry. The awards are presented annually by Paybefore, whose publications are the leading source of industry information for the global prepaid community.

"Plastyc's mission is making premium financial services easy and affordable for the underbanked. Since last year, we have enhanced our UPside Visa service with innovative new capabilities. We're thrilled that once again, the industry experts at Paybefore are highlighting our ground-breaking work in prepaid," said Plastyc CEO Patrice Peyret.

UPside Visa was selected by a panel of five industry experts who served as judges for this year’s competition, which—once again—included entries from around the world.

“Paybefore Awards was created to honor the companies and individuals that are keeping prepaid on the cutting edge of payments,” said Loraine DeBonis, Paybefore editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel.

“Our industry continues to break new ground and expand the reach of electronic payments because of companies like Plastyc who make innovation and execution a priority,” she continued. “We are proud to recognize its contributions to advancing the prepaid industry.”

“Prepaid is the fastest-growing area of payments because it addresses unmet payment needs of consumers, businesses and governments,” added Marilyn Bochicchio, Paybefore’s CEO. “Paybefore Awards recognizes the creativity of prepaid practitioners in developing programs that address these needs more effectively than cash, checks or even other types of payment cards.”

In the past year, Plastyc has enhanced its award-winning UPside Visa with programs that help customers automate tuck money into savings, offer discounts at pharmacies and make it easier to load cash into prepaid accounts. The enhancements are enabled by Plastyc's sophisticated technology platform and support its mission of making premium financial services easy and affordable for the underbanked.

UPside Visa now will vie for best-in-category distinction, which will be announced during the Paybefore Awards ceremony on March 12 at the Prepaid Expo USA (

About Paybefore
Paybefore is the leading information provider to prepaid and stored value industry professionals, offering the latest news, commentary and analysis. Paybefore’s family of industry publications include:™, a searchable online news and information portal; Paybefore News™, daily news briefs delivered electronically; Paybefore News International™, a weekly compilation of prepaid news and events from outside the United States; Paybefore Update™, an e-newsletter delivered 20 times a year; Paybefore Legal™, a downloadable e-newsletter covering the legislative, regulatory and judicial developments in prepaid, as well as feature articles by leading attorneys in the field; Paybefore Magazine™, a biannual print publication featuring in-depth articles on the opportunities, challenges and trends in the global prepaid and stored value industry; and the only industry directory, Paybefore Buyer’s Guide™, available online and in print. Visit us at

   Adding Cash to UPside Visa Prepaid Cards Just Got Easier
Plastyc uses Green Dot’s Swipe&Load technology to let people instantly add cash to their cards at 7-Eleven stores throughout the U.S.
Plastyc announced today that effective immediately, UPside Visa cardholders can load cash onto their cards at more than 6,500 7-Eleven stores throughout the U.S. with a simple swipe of their card at the stores’ cash registers.

Swipe&Load technology makes it faster and easier for people to add cash to their reloadable cards. Now cardholders can visit any 7-Eleven store in the U.S and hand their UPside Visa card and cash to the cashier. The cashier swipes the card and the money is added to the card on the spot.

This valuable feature is made possible through Plastyc’s partnership with Green Dot Corp. (NYSE:GDOT). Green Dot is a publicly traded bank holding company which owns and operates the Green Dot Network, the largest cash reloading network in the United States.

"Green Dot’s network simplifies the process of adding cash to prepaid card accounts, and anything that makes life easier for our cardholders is a good thing. We're pleased to be the first Green Dot partner to offer this new service to our cardholders,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc.

Using Green Dot’s Swipe&Load functionality allows UPside Visa cardholders to immediately use the deposited cash to pay bills online, shop anywhere Visa is accepted, top off cell phone minutes, and even issue paper checks from their mobile or online account.

“We continue to innovate and provide new ways for our partners to extract value from the Green Dot Network,” said Secil Baysal, General Manager of the Green Dot Network. “This Swipe&Load functionality enhances the competitiveness of the Green Dot Network by providing unique value and convenience to our partners and their cardholders."

The Swipe&Load service and Green Dot MoneyPak each cost $4.95 or less. Plastyc adds no additional fees.