NEW YORK and AUSTIN, Texas, March 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In response to the millions of African Americans who are either unbanked or underbanked in the U.S., BET Networks and NetSpend Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:NTSP) today announced that they have launched a powerful alternative banking solution in the form of the Control™ Prepaid MasterCard® card to provide these consumers with the power, confidence and control to manage their money.
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A Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) survey reports that at least 25 percent of U.S. households, occupied by approximately 60 million adults, are either unbanked or underbanked. In addition, nearly 22 percent of African American households do not have bank accounts. According to Kelton Research, many of these consumers do not have access to bank accounts or do not trust banks. Further, there is a large population of underbanked consumers in the African American community.
"Millions of African Americans are unable to access banking services, which are a staple of most Americans' lives," said Scott Mills, president and chief operating officer of BET Networks. "We are thrilled to partner with NetSpend to launch the Control Card as a true alternative banking solution to help address this critical issue. The Control Card has a combination of the best features available today and is specifically designed to address the needs of African American unbanked or underbanked consumers."
"We have been serving the needs of the unbanked and underbanked for more than 10 years, and we know that trust and awareness are essential to reach these consumers that are 'trapped' in the cash economy," said Dan Henry, chief executive officer of NetSpend. "This is an ideal partnership to reach these consumers with their trust in BET and NetSpend's experience and platform to deliver a cost-effective, feature-rich alternative banking solution."
The Control Card offers many features and perks, including but not limited to the following:
The Control Prepaid MasterCard card is FDIC insured and features a competitive basic monthly fee with no added monthly inactivity or maintenance fees. There is no fee to order the card, and it can be used anywhere Debit MasterCard cards are accepted. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq:VIA) (Nasdaq:VIAB), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
NetSpend is a leading provider of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid debit cards and related financial services to the estimated 60 million underbanked consumers in the United States who do not have a traditional bank account or who rely on alternative financial services. The Company's mission is to develop products and services that empower underbanked consumers with the convenience, security and freedom to be self-banked. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NetSpend is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol NTSP. Please visit http://www.netspend.com for more information.
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CONTACT: Krista Shepard NetSpend Corporation (512) 531-8732 firstname.lastname@example.org Suzanne Dawson for NetSpend Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc. (212) 329-1420 office (908) 242-7162 cell email@example.com Kimberlee Bradshaw BET Networks (212) 205-3154 Kimberlee.Bradshaw@bet.net