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H&R Block first in prepaid card industry to provide mobile check cashing, instant cash-back rewards

4 min read

4 min read

December 04, 2012

Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® launches new online tools, smartphone apps, retailer rewards

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) has announced new consumer benefits providing instant cash rewards from select retailers and instant access to funds via mobile check-to-card loads. The Emerald Prepaid Mastercard®, having been named one of the top 3 consumer-friendly prepaid cards in a study by Bankrate.com*, is one of the lowest cost, client-friendly prepaid programs in the industry.

Approximately 60 million consumers choose alternative banking methods. Even with new providers, such as Chase LiquidSM and American Express Bluebird®, the Emerald Card is the only prepaid card program with a bundle of services providing:

  • Instant mobile check-to-card loads
  • Instant cash rewards
  • Ability to load prepaid cell phone minutes via Emerald Online
  • Access to savings account
  • Ability to issue checks via bill pay

“Combining these new features with no activation, monthly account or purchase fees, our Emerald Card is a world-class checking account alternative,” said Susan Ehrlich, president of H&R Block Financial Services.

Instant cash as close as the phone

The Emerald Card is the only prepaid debit card providing clients immediate access to funds loaded via an innovative remote check capture feature in the Emerald Card Mobile Banking AppTM. H&R Block introduced this feature to enable the user to snap a picture of a check with the phone’s camera and instantly load the funds to the card upon check approval. This check-to-card feature delivers convenience in loading funds onto the Emerald Card – saving time and money – while providing immediate availability to funds.

Use has its rewards

H&R Block also has announced another first in the prepaid market with H&R Block Emerald Cash RewardsSM. H&R Block has partnered with national retailers to provide cardholders more than $100 in free instant reward offers every month.

“It’s the best kind of instant rewards program there is,” Ehrlich said. “There are no coupons to clip or points to track – ever.”

Cardholders simply use their Emerald Card for everyday purchases at participating merchants and get instant cash rewards from popular restaurants and major home goods, electronics and apparel retailers. When clients shop at these participating merchants and use their Emerald Card, the cash back reward instantly is loaded onto the card.

A new way for prepaid

H&R Block recently launched a new online banking site for clients, as well as fully integrated free apps for iPhone®, iPad® and Android®.

H&R Block’s Emerald Online and mobile app enable cardholders to review account activity and manage their money at home or on the go. Emerald Online is powered by industry-leader Plastyc**, which recently was named as providing one of the best consumer value programs in the prepaid industry.*

By visiting www.hrblock.com/emeraldcard, cardholders will benefit from a new interface to perform the following tasks and more with greater ease:

  • Access transaction history and balance
  • Issue checks or pay bills via online bill pay
  • Add prepaid minutes to their cell phone
  • Sign up for text and email alerts.

“H&R Block is more than the nation’s largest tax preparation company. We have been helping millions of consumers redefine their banking relationship,” said Aaron Caid, vice president of H&R Block’s prepaid division. “Our focus is on providing the prepaid consumer a great low-cost alternative for managing everyday finances conveniently and securely.”

*See Bankrate.com 2011 prepaid card survey.

**Plastyc was chosen as a 2012 Paybefore Awards winner in the Best Consumer Value in prepaid category for its UPside Visa® prepaid card program.

The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard is issued by H&R Block Bank, a Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated. Additional fees, terms and conditions apply. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Not available at all locations and to all applicants. Consult your cardholder agreement for details on fees, terms and conditions. ©2012 HRB Tax Group, Inc.

Emerald Cash Rewards are usually instant but may take up to 48 hours. Merchants/offers vary. Standard text message fees may apply for text alerts. Check to Card service not available to all cardholders. Some checks may not be accepted or approved and fees apply. Funds not available until check is approved. Initial use may require additional time for check processing, see User Agreement for details.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest tax services provider, having prepared more than 600 million tax returns worldwide since 1955. In fiscal 2012, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion and prepared 25.6 million tax returns worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by nearly 100,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home™ digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.