Libby Calderone

Stay connected to members with prepaid cards

Keep members going in uncertain times.

May 11, 2020

If you’re not already offering a prepaid product, now would be a good time to start. With the game-changer of coronavirus (COVID-19), cashless payment methods are increasingly useful as people are staying home and buying food and other items online.


Prepaid cards can help credit unions better serve their members in these uncertain times. Members can use prepaid cards to:

  • Budget for long-term or special-occasion spending.
  • Receive tax refunds.
  • Go cashless without incurring interest rates or risking account information.

With more people going online to buy what they need, understanding how to shop safely over the internet is more important than ever for your members. LSC has assembled a list of online shopping safety tips for credit unions to share with their members.

By advising members on these online best practices and offering them the convenient benefits of prepaid cards, credit unions can give members the tools they need to keep going during these unprecedented times.

For credit unions, prepaid cards offer their own set of benefits. By offering these cards, credit unions can continue to connect with members and their communities, even reaching out to potential members of growing, yet underserved, ethnic markets along with younger demographics. Highlighting prepaid cards through your website, emails, or social media can make people of all ages and groups aware of this convenient budgeting and online shopping tool.

Reloadable cards, with their ability to be used on a regular basis, are a particularly great way to foster strong, ongoing member relationships. For members, these cards can offer the convenience of loading and reloading funds online or through a mobile app, limiting the need for in-branch visits. Prepaid programs with mobile services are particularly attractive to tech-savvy young people looking to have total access to card information on the go. For credit unions, reloadable prepaid cards, depending on the program, can create the opportunity to earn an ongoing revenue stream. Some reloadable cards may also be customized with a credit union’s logo, helping to reinforce the connection between the member and the credit union.

Likewise, branded gift cards can offer another way for credit unions to connect with their members and communities. As a goodwill gesture, credit unions can use gift cards to thank first responders, health care employees, and essential workers for their contributions. Gift cards are also a great way to thank staff for their dedication and encourage a positive team spirit that will radiate into member relationships.

Serving members and communities is at the heart of the credit union mission. Prepaid cards are one way to accomplish that goal. They are tools credit unions can use to reach out, serve their communities, and grow positive ongoing member relationships even during uncertain times.

Libby Calderone is president/COO of LSC. She is responsible for the growth and retention of LSC’s business, as well as future business strategy and enhancements, to help credit unions compete in a complex financial marketplace. Libby also serves as the chair of the supervisory committee of Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, Naperville, Ill., and is a director of American Share Insurance. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and holds a CCUIE designation from CUNA.