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Russell Simmons

New prepaid debit cards target niches or aim to replace bank accounts

New prepaid debit cards target niches or aim to replace bank accounts

When Steve Streit first conceived the prepaid debit card, he had something very specific in mind: a way to let kids spend money online without using a parent's credit card.

He didn't imagine that 16 years later the cards would be used by tens of millions of lower-income Americans to manage their money — or that a bevy of small rivals would offer new products on top of the prepaid system he pioneered.

"It's much bigger than we thought it would be," said Streit, the founder and chief executive of Pasadena's Green Dot Corp., one of the nation's top prepaid card issuers. "And it's still very early on."

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