For the past decade the North West Company in northern Canada have been offering a We Financial Visa prepaid card, but what is new as of June is the direct deposit option. Visa Canada is the processer in the partnership, with North West being the program manager and Scotiabank, is the card issuer.
Cardholders can use this new reloadable prepaid card in lieu of a bank account, which will enable access to electronic payments for the many Canadians not having access to a local financial institution.
Michael Beaulieu, vice president of services for the North West Company, says it’s a safer way to handle money. “It’s a safe, secure, and timely way to receive funds. There are no delays waiting for cheques in the mail, and even if you happen to be away from your home community, and travelling, if you have your card, and you have direct deposit, you’re sure to receive the funds.”
Beaulieu also noted that many people with bank accounts still want to be a part of this new card. “For some of our customers who don’t have bank accounts, the prepaid product is a convenient solution for them, whether or not they have an access to a bank regardless. We’re seeing more and more of our customer with bank accounts, electing to still have a prepaid We Financial Visa card. What that does is provide them the reach of a Visa card. And a convenient tool to budget their money.”
In a June 17 press release, Rob Livingston, president of Visa Canada says Visa says this will benefit a great amount of Canadians. “Bringing safe, reliable, and convenient digital payments to everyone everywhere is incredibly important to Visa. The North West Company has deep roots in the communities of northern Canada and the new Visa-processed direct deposit solution is a more secure and efficient alternative to cheques for thousands of Canadians living in Northern Canada.”
The card will have some fees associated with it. It will run on a pay as you go model, with a $3 monthly fee, with fee structures based on transactions. There is a 50-cent point of sale fee, and a $2.50 ATM fee.
Hopeful cardholders can visit any North West store and speak to a customer service representative about the card.