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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A prepaid card for addicts in recovery

Addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling can only be fueled when addicts have the money to fund their addictions. Next Step Network LLC unveiled a general propose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card that allows caretakers to manage the purchasing behavior of recovering addicts. The MasterCard Worldwide-branded Next Step Card restricts users from feeding addictions at such locations as bars, liquor stores, gambling establishments and massage parlors. Additionally, the card cannot be used to withdraw cash at ATMs or to get cash back at the POS.

Individuals who support addicts in their recoveries enroll online and become primary cardholders. They then load funds onto primary virtual card accounts via bankcards, direct deposit or Green Dot Corp.'s MoneyPak. Companion cards are then mailed to recovering addicts. After companion cardholders activate cards online, they can then use the cards to make purchases.

The primary cardholders manage the accounts and set card usage parameters, such as daily and monthly spending limits. They also receive real-time email and text message alerts when cards are used. As a security feature to deter addicts from either selling or trading the cards, primary cardholders upload photographs of companion cardholders online.

The Next Step Card is issued by First California Bank. Fees on the GPR card include:

  • A companion card purchase and activate fee of $9.95
  • A monthly maintenance fee of $14.95
  • A customer service call fee of $2.95
  • A negative balance fee of $10.00

The Next Step Card is being marketed to addiction recovery centers. end of article

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