H&R Block Adds Mobile Phone Banking to Emerald Card Platform
Text Messaging for Balance, Powered by Metavante and Monitise Americas, is Latest Feature Added to Card
KANSAS CITY, Mo. & MILWAUKEE & PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), Metavante (NYSE: MV), and Monitise Americas, LLC, today announced that H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard(R) cardholders will begin to have access to mobile phone text messaging to check their balances and receive account reload mobile alerts. H&R Block will start piloting the text messaging capabilities made available by Metavante Mobile Financial Services, powered by Monitise Americas technology.
H&R Block is the world's largest tax preparation company. The company's Emerald Prepaid MasterCard marked the largest launch of a prepaid debit card in the industry. Monitise Americas is a joint venture between Monitise plc, a global specialist in mobile banking technology, and Metavante Corporation, a leading provider of banking and payments technologies to financial institutions and businesses worldwide.
"While the Emerald Card has proven to be a safe, lower cost and convenient way for customers to receive their tax refunds, we are continuing to explore ways we can provide improved account access and support to our clients," said Kevin Morrison, H&R Block's assistant vice president of card programs. "By piloting the addition of text message and balance inquiry functionality through Monitise Americas and Metavante, we will be able to continue to learn how our Emerald Card can build loyalty while meeting the specific support needs of our tax clients - giving them another reason to choose H&R Block year after year."
In addition to text message balance inquiry, the Emerald Card offers clients a robust line of features, including:
- Payroll direct deposit
- Connection to line of credit
- Access to a savings account
- Link to money transfer services
- Nationwide ATM access and point-of-sale purchasing wherever
MasterCard debit cards are accepted
This tax season, H&R Block issued 2.6 million cards. H&R Block customers continued to use the cards for purposes beyond receiving their tax refund, loading payroll direct deposit and other funds on the card.
"When banking services perform as advertised, they build relationships," said Frank D'Angelo, group president, Metavante Payment Solutions. "The hope for reloadable prepaid cards has been equipping financial institutions to offer an alternative to checking accounts as an entry-level product and eventually transition non-traditional customers into traditional banking relationships. The ever-present nature of the mobile phone in America makes it an advantageous customer service channel for consumers already bypassing traditional financial institution channels. As prepaid itself becomes a mainstream financial product, using mobile phone text messaging functionality for balance inquiries can enable relationship building by allowing consumers to manage their account whenever and wherever they choose."
Lisa Stanton, chief executive officer, Monitise Americas, said, "Initiating prepaid account balance inquiries on-the-go using text messaging may not represent traditional banking, but considering the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones in America, this functionality does provide greater access to accounts and an expanded customer base."
H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCards are offered through H&R Block tax offices. H&R Block's tax professionals at the company's nationwide network of 13,500 offices assist clients with establishing the accounts.
Metavante Payment Solutions delivers electronic money movement through an integrated payments network, including an ATM/PIN-debit network in NYCE, mobile banking and payments, online bill pay, healthcare payment solutions, a suite of payment cards and automated clearing house (ACH) processing.
Monitise Americas has engineered its platform specifically for the North American mobile banking and payments market, leveraging the best practices and award-winning technology developed by Monitise for the MONILINK service in the U.K. MONILINK provides mobile banking and payment services to U.K. customers of first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank.
About Monitise Americas
Monitise Americas is a joint venture between Metavante Corporation, a leading provider of banking and payments technologies to financial institutions and businesses worldwide and Monitise plc (MONI.L), a specialist in mobile banking technology. Monitise Americas provides mobile banking and payment services to North American financial institutions predicated on an "ecosystem" principle, which allows multiple mobile carriers and financial institutions to deliver services over a single platform. It has a sister ecosystem in the United Kingdom, MONILINK, developed by Monitise plc in partnership with VocaLink. Current partners of MONILINK include: first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Hutchison 3G.
For more information on Monitise Americas and details of how to benefit from participating in its cross-America ecosystem, please visit http://www.monitise.com.
Metavante Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: MV) is the parent company of Metavante Corporation. Metavante Corporation delivers banking and payments technologies to over 8,000 financial services firms and businesses worldwide. Metavante products and services drive account processing for deposit, loan and trust systems, image-based and conventional check processing, electronic funds transfer, consumer healthcare payments, electronic presentment and payment, business transformation services, and payment network solutions including the NYCE Network, a leading ATM/PIN debit network. Metavante (www.metavante.com) is headquartered in Milwaukee. Metavante and NYCE are registered trademarks of Metavante Corporation, which is the principal subsidiary of Metavante Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About H&R Block
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's preeminent tax services provider, having served more than 400 million clients since 1955 and generating annual revenues of $4 billion in fiscal year 2007. H&R Block provides income tax return preparation and related services and products via a nationwide network of approximately 13,000 company-owned and franchised offices and through TaxCut(R) online and software solutions. The company also provides business services through RSM McGladrey and certain consumer financial services. For more information visit our Online Press Center at www.hrblock.com.