Debit cards are easier for businesses to accept as a form a legal tender than checks. With checks, the business owner has to ask for several forms of identification and has to note information from the IDs the customer gives onto the check. With debit cards, the customer simply swipes the card, punches in his pin code and waits for the receipt to print out. Not every customer qualifies for a bank account to get a debit card however, which makes this a prime business opportunity for you if you start a debit card services company.
Apply for a banking license and state charter. Request an application from your state’s division of banks. Draft a letter that details the services you plan to offer and have it notarized. Submit your personal information as principal for a background check. Complete the application and return it with the supporting documents.
Determine the additional services your debit card will offer, aside from the ability to withdraw cash. Add additional services such as travel protection for people who purchase travel tickets with your card or rental car insurance for people who book car rentals.
Negotiate partnership deals with retailers and other businesses that will extend your reach. For example, negotiate a deal with a retailer to give customers who use your card a 5 percent discount on purchases.
Negotiate partnerships with insurance companies and other financial services companies to offer additional services to your debit card users, such as purchase protection insurance or cash back rewards.
Secure funding to back up financial transactions. Anticipate the amount of transactions that could be flowing through your business, the costs of operating the debit card service and offering insurance features on the card. Check with your state’s banking division to see if there is a minimum of funds you should secure.
Apply for deposit insurance with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC reports “Federal law includes protections against debit card errors and the loss or theft of your card”
Sign up with a private clearinghouse or become a member of the Federal Reserve so that your customer can transfer funds and make purchase wherever there are debit terminals.
Work with a card manufacturer to design your debit cards. Choose options such as smart chips and picturesque face designs to make your cards unique. Order plastic stock for debit cards.
Purchase equipment to print cards such as desktop card printers and desktop card embossers. Find used equipment on a classified site or an auction site for around $900. Work with a debit card issuer like Datacard.
Hire a web designer to develop a website. Post the usage agreement and regulations regarding the use of your card. Give card holders the capabilities of monitoring their accounts online.
Market the card to the consumers. Russell Simmons, producer and entrepreneur, ran commercials to introduce his debit card service to consumers. If you can afford it, hire a video production company to produce a series of video commercials. Negotiate rates for airtime with local television affiliates.
Use banner ads online to reach millions of people. Set a budget for what you can spend on advertising. Hire a graphic designer to create a series of banner ads that you can run. Test ads for effectiveness. Remove the ads that don’t perform as well as the others.
- Federal Deposit Insurance News; Debit vs. Credit Cards: How They Stack Up
- Financial Services; Nilini Prava Tripathy; 2007
- Financial Services; Dr. Gurusamy; 2009
- DataCard Group
- credit card terminal image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com