Can Candor And A Payments Card Launch Co-Exist?

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Even in payments, a little candor can go a long way, especially in public CEO statements about issuing a new kind of payments card. This comes from a British company called Mondo, which is about to generate MasterCard Prepaid Debit cards issued by Wirecard Card Solutions, which is a payment facilitator as well as being a prepaid issuer.

Still, it’s not often that a payments CEO pledges that customers will have headaches—and yet Mondo CEO Tom Blomfield did just that when introducing the Alpha version of his card.

“Internet companies often release ‘Beta’ products, indicating a degree of incompleteness. ‘Alpha’ indicates more than a degree of incompleteness. You will experience problems with this product, especially early on,” Blomfield wrote. “Things will inevitably not work as expected and you may even temporarily lose access to the money on the card. But we’ll work hard to fix those problems as quickly as we can. We also guarantee that you will never lose money as a result – we’ll refund any mistakes that deplete your balance. And there will be zero fees or charges for using the card, even abroad.”

The candor is comforting, but there’s something about a payment card that all-but-guarantees problems and the need for reimbursements that is scary.

The blog post was also quite clear that it wants customers to not try this product, but to use social media for a little free marketing. The more social posts people offer, the more likely it is that they’ll get the Alpha version.

” Head over to our website to sign up to the waiting list and check your eligibility. To be in the first wave of 500 alphas, you’ll need to live in London, be at least 18 years old, and own an iPhone,” the post said. “If you help spread the word about Mondo by Tweeting or posting to Facebook, we’ll even bump you up the list.”

The best part about the social offer is that, by definition, those who post won’t know anything about the card because they will have yet to get it. If not, why offer the lure to post often to increase the chance of getting the alpha?

The company also points out—in another act of candor—that it doesn’t quite yet have the legal right to offer banking services.

“We’re in the process of obtaining a banking license, but we won’t be regulated until 2016. So we’re not a bank yet – that’s important!” the post said. “We’ll be giving you access to a prepaid debit card and the Mondo iPhone app.”

This will be an interesting experiment to watch.

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