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Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending

The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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BET Networks and NetSpend introduce pre-paid MasterCard for African-Americans

(March 29, 2012) In response to the millions of African Americans who are either unbanked or underbanked in the U.S., BET Networks and NetSpend Holdings, Inc. has 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.

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:

- A range of free online and mobile banking services
- Free direct deposit up to two days faster than traditional banking policies
- A merchant-funded cash back reward program
- An optional, FDIC-insured savings account that requires no minimum balance or initial deposit yet offers a high-yield promotional APY
- $10 purchase cushion covers the eligible cardholder's purchase transactions up to $10.00 over their card balance

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.

The Control Card may be ordered online at, and it will be marketed through BET Networks' media platforms, online and direct mail.

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