Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can Green Dot compete with Retail Banks as it beta-tests a mobile banking app?

Green Dot announced this week the debut of a beta version of its mobile consumer checking account – dubbed GoBank – thrusting the prepaid card company into retail banking.

Green Dot has been diversifying its business through several acquisitions and in this latest move is looking to leverage the negative sentiment and fee fatigue that many consumers have towards traditional banking institutions.

The GoBank checking app targets smartphone users and is FDIC – Insured. It leverages Green Dot’s extensive ATM network and includes optional fees, as well as a bevy of mobile features, such as remote check deposit. One feature, called “Ask The Fortune Teller”, is geared toward encouraging users to save money – drawing comparisons to tools from nontraditional banks like Simple and leaving the retail banking community to wonder if this is enough to secure a seat in an already crowded market.

In an interview with AmericanBanker, Green Dot CEO Steve Streit points out that this product is an FDIC – Insured bank account – which differentiates it from the prepaid Bluebird card from Walmart and American Express, which is issued and backed by American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc. What does this mean for Bluebird, Simple, or other third party options?

Streit, CEO of Green Dot will be speaking side by side with American Express at this year’s Prepaid Expo (as well as executives from MasterCard and InComm). With the race on to capture the wallet power of consumers at a fever pitch, you can expect a lively discussion about mobile strategy and what opportunities exists for traditional prepaid players in the larger payments ecosystem. 

Check out the full article here.


Ryan Geswell is a New Media Analyst in the Finance Division at IIR USA with a background in Marketing and Media. He can be reached at

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