WASHINGTON, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Master Your Card, a public education program sponsored by MasterCard®, today launched Master Your Card: Oportunidad, a new coalition that aims to help the Latino community understand the full value of electronic payment technology to promote upward mobility and further financial inclusion for families and small businesses in the United States.
The Master Your Card: Oportunidad Coalition Advisory Board—comprised of current and former Latino political, business and civic leaders from across the United States—will provide learning opportunities for Latino communities on how the wise use of electronic payment cards, credit, debit and prepaid, can help them prosper through increased convenience, transparency, affordability and consumer control.
"There is a disproportionate number of Latino households in America that are either unbanked or underbanked with little to no access to financially empowering payment technologies most take for granted," said Fabian Nunez, Master Your Card: Oportunidad national chair and former speaker of the California Assembly. "The Master Your Card: Oportunidad coalition is committed to providing Latinos with the tools and information they need to realize greater financial inclusion and growth. For too long, our community has faced a false choice between traditional banking services and costly or even predatory alternative financial services."
Credit, debit and prepaid cards save consumers time and money, and are safer and more convenient to use than cash. For example, people without some form of payment card cannot shop or pay bills online. Individuals without bank accounts are forced to wait in line for expensive check cashing, pay day loans, money orders and transfer services. If their money is lost or stolen, it can't be replaced. Fortunately, innovation in electronic payment technology puts the safety, convenience and buying power of payment cards within the reach of almost every consumer, providing opportunities that will change lives and improve financial growth.
According to the 2011 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) "National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households," 20.1 percent of Latino households are unbanked and 28.6 percent are underbanked. In contrast, of all U.S. households, 8.2 are unbanked, while 20.1 percent are underbanked.
"These numbers are alarming and impact both Latino families and business owners alike," said Nunez. There are 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners: Hispanic-Owned Businesses: 2007, which was released in 2010.
"Businesses that accept credit, debit and prepaid cards generate more revenue than those that do not accept electronic payment," said Nunez. "We want to help Latino-owned businesses become more attractive to customers and more competitive in the marketplace."
Among Master Your Card: Oportunidad's initial activities will be substantive programming at the League of United Latin American Citizens' (LULAC) National Convention in Las Vegas in June, as well as a presentation at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) annual meeting in Chicago later that month.
Members of the Master Your Card: Oportunidad Advisory Board include:
- Hon. Fabian Nunez, former speaker of the California Assembly, national chair
- Alfonso Aguilar, executive director for Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles
- Hope Andrade, commissioner representing employers for the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), former Texas Secretary of State
- Alicia Diaz, director for federal relations at the CNC (formerly known as the Cuban American National Council)
- Hon. Manny Diaz, former mayor of Miami and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Hon. Fernando Ferrer, acting chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
- Hon. Lucy Flores, Nevada assemblywoman representing the 28th district
- Ben Monterroso, special assistant to the executive vice president at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and national executive director of Mi Familia Vota
- Patrick Shearer, San Antonio Market president, Accion Texas
- Hon. J. Walter Tejada, chairman, Arlington County Board
For more information about Master Your Card Oportunidad, please visit http://masteryourcardusa.org/oportunidad/.
About Master Your Card
Master Your Card is a public education campaign by MasterCard® that helps consumers, small businesses and governments get more from their money by using prepaid, debit and credit cards to their advantage.
SOURCE Master Your Card