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TMCNet:  Green Dot Introduces GoBank

[January 18, 2013]

Green Dot Introduces GoBank

Jan 18, 2013 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Green Dot Corp. introduced GoBank, a bank account designed from scratch to be opened and used on a mobile device.

According to a release, GoBank allows consumers to interact with their money. In addition to GoBank's pricing model of no overdraft fees or penalty fees and no minimum balance requirements, GoBank allow customers to send and deposit money, build a budget and find an ATM, with a massive network of more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs, more than twice the size of Chase or Bank of America.

As a brand of Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, the Company said all GoBank deposits are FDIC-insured. Each GoBank account includes a checking account with a linked Visa debit card and a second integrated bank account called the "Money Vault" that's designed to be a way for GoBank members to put money away for savings. Accounts are demand deposit accounts (DDA) with deposits insured by the FDIC and full "Regulation E" consumer protections.

"Until now, banking is one of the few industries in the world that hasn't yet been reinvented by Silicon Valley," said Steve Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot. "Most people today, and especially people under 40, aren't satisfied with their current banking options. Many traditional bank accounts have long and complex fee schedules with terms and conditions that favor the bank; not the customer. GoBank is made to please the customer first and foremost. GoBank is designed from the ground up to be the bank account for the smartphone generation. Once you start using GoBank, controlling your money becomes as intimate and addictive as checking Facebook or texting friends." GoBank features, as described by the Company, include: -Debit Card Customization: Members can personalize GoBank by customizing the entire front of their Visa debit card with their favorite photo. They can choose the picture from Facebook, their phone or computer.

-Should You Buy It Ask the Fortune Teller: "Remember that time you won the lottery I don't either." This is a response a member might see from GoBank's Fortune Teller if they try to spend beyond their budget. Fortune Teller cross-checks the price of an item with the member's integrated GoBank budget, and if they can't afford it they'll be advised in real-time to pass on the purchase. The budget tool is fun for members to use, with tons of responses that aim to entertain as well as inform.

-Huge Fee-Free ATM Network: Members can withdraw cash from more than 40,000 fee-free ATM locations in the U.S. As a market comparison, Chase and Bank of America each have less than 20,000 fee-free ATMs.

-Peek at Your Balance Without Logging In: A top reason a person logs into their bank account is to check their balance. GoBank allows members to use "Slide for Balance" on the app's login screen to take at peek at their available balance without logging in (members opt into this feature).

-Send Money: Members can instantly send money to friends and family at no charge through email, text message or even a private Facebook notification. Recipients don't have to be GoBank members to receive the money.

-Account Set-Up: Compared to typically long processes associated with opening a traditional bank account, setting up a GoBank account can take minutes. This includes the time it takes to create an optional custom Visa debit card with a member's own photo.

-Multiple Deposit Options: GoBank has a variety of ways to deposit money into the account. Members can deposit checks by snapping a photo through the app, and they can use a debit card to transfer some money from another bank account. Direct deposit is available for paychecks, federal benefits or tax returns. Lastly, members can deposit cash at select Green Dot retail partner locations nationwide - all for free.

-Mobile Checkbook and Bill Pay: Members can pay any company or any person online or on their phone, and GoBank will mail a paper check to any recipient that doesn't accept e-payments.

-Money Vault: The Money Vault is an integrated bank account, with deposits insured by the FDIC, where members can put money away for savings. In real time, members can move money from their checking account available balance into the Money Vault for safe keeping. When they want to spend that money, the member can move it back in two taps and it updates their available balance in real time. The Money Vault is free to use and members can move money back and forth as often as they wish.

-Account Alerts: Members can fine-tune a range of notifications about their money to fit their needs - with alerts about specific transactions, as well as overall account updates.

"It's not every day that you get the opportunity to bring a Silicon Valley approach to building a bank account," said Sam Altman, executive vice president of Mobile for Green Dot. "Our GoBank product and technology team is populated by digital natives who grew up with the Internet and mobile phones being central to our daily lives. So, our goal was to reinvent personal banking and create a bank account that understands how people in our generation live, work and play and how we think about money. We love using GoBank and we hope that our members will love it too." Illustrating the need for GoBank's unique approach, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive called "The State of the Bank" was released by GoBank. The survey depicts an America that's very open to a new way to bank. The survey found that almost 2/3 of Americans (64 percent) say they don't fully trust big banks. The majority of Americans don't feel their bank is transparent (87 percent) or on their side (68 percent). In the past 10 years, Americans see Banking as being one of the least innovative industries - only airlines and pet care were seen as less innovative. And, only 11 percent of Americans say their bank frequently offers new tools or features that they use.

The survey shows traditional banking practices are fading, with 67 percent saying they write fewer paper checks, and 14 percent of 18-34 year-olds saying they've never written a paper check. As an indicator of Americans' overall willingness to break away from traditional banking, 65 percent of people (and 81 percent of 18-34 year olds) indicated they'd be open to using a bank like GoBank (when presented with a description consistent with GoBank's features). The full national survey results can be found here.

According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, the average bank had 38 different fees that a customer could incur when using their checking account. And around 90 percent of all checking accounts had a monthly fee. The median monthly fee in the report was $12 unless the customer carries a sufficient minimum balance, which averaged $2,000.

Green Dot Corp. is a publicly traded bank holding company.

More information: http://gobank.com ((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@closeupmedia.com))

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