CHAPTER 6 Prepaid Cards

A Step in the Right Direction

I believe in the benevolent power of banking. I believe that banking is good for humankind and that when banks are managed properly, they serve the very real needs of individuals, families, communities, and nations. Most of what you read in this book is an argument in favor of banking. Historically and traditionally, banking is foundational to the slow but sure creation and distribution of wealth across our increasingly connected global economy.

I’m not delusional. I understand that wealth is not shared evenly or fairly. But I am what author Matt Ridley would describe as a “rational optimist.”

Banks help people store, save, and spend their money. Without banks, those of us with money would have to hide it under our mattresses or bring it with us whenever we wanted to make a purchase, and those of us without money would be forced to depend on loan sharks and other predatory lenders whenever we needed cash, whether to pay the grocer, the plumber, or the pediatrician.

I am for anything that affords more people the opportunity to use banks. For many people, the mobile telephone will offer a path to banking. Prepaid cards offer another path.

We drive cars because of Henry Ford, not Karl Benz. We use personal computers because of Bill Gates, not Steve Jobs. That is, until the Mac came on the scene (that said the PC still has a lot of loyal followers (the author uses both). We use smartphones because of Steve Jobs, not Mike Lazaridis ...

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