From our Obsession
Future of Finance
New technology is upending everything in finance.
Soon after the RushCard prepaid debit card debacle that saw customers losing access to their money emerged, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would monitor the situation. RushCard’s parent company, UniRush, quickly felt the government agency was being too demanding.
Early last month, UniRush filed a request (pdf) with the CFPB asking it to narrow some of its document requests (centered around its ill-fated payment processor change) and extend the amount of time it had to answer them (10 days). The CFPB denied that request (pdf) Wednesday (Dec. 2), directing UniRush to meet and confer with bureau enforcement counsel within 10 days of the order “to provide a specific timetable for responding to each interrogatory, document request, and request for written reports, with an explanation of the reason why such additional time is needed.” The CFPB declined to comment beyond the denial.
“We are committed to working cooperatively with the CFPB and have already begun to produce the documents they’ve requested,” a RushCard spokesperson wrote to Quartz in an email.
Though RushCard has attempted to make amends with its affected customers, including setting up a fund to compensate them, a Yahoo Finance story from November shows that a lot of damage has already been done:
Cassandra Coates happened to misplace her RushCard the week of the outage. Under normal circumstances, she could have gotten a replacement card sent to her within a couple of business days (for a $30 fee). But because the company’s phones were so bogged down with complaints, Coates couldn’t get through. Days and weeks passed. She missed a car payment and her truck was repossessed. Coates, who works full-time as an auto inspector in Swansea, Ill., leaned on her daughter to help her get to and from work. When their schedules didn’t line up, she was forced to call out of work, losing wages in the process.
“I see on the Internet [Russell Simmons] is setting up this multi-million dollar fund and he’s going to help us, but what are we supposed to do until then? I can’t eat. I don’t have gas,” said Coates, 42.
After Yahoo Finance contacted a RushCard representative on Monday, the company sent Coates a check for her total account balance. She has yet to receive a replacement card, but she likely won’t need it. Last week, she opened a checking account at a local credit union.