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CincyTech invests in financial services firm

Innovative Card Solutions provides prepaid MasterCard cards as well as financial literacy education.

CINCINNATI (Aug. 15, 2011): CincyTech has invested $250,000 in Innovative Card Solutions (ICS), founded by brothers Wyatt and Wade Goins, which provides reloadable, prepaid MasterCard cards along with online financial literacy courses and money management tools for corporations and universities.

The company has a dual market: corporations that want to provide direct payroll deposit to employees who don’t have bank accounts, and universities whose students need a convenient way to manage their money and access tuition refunds.

Innovative Card Solutions helps these employees and students manage their money more effectively as well. The company has created a host of financial literacy “training modules”—23 so far—on subjects such as monthly budgeting, understanding your credit scores, avoiding identity theft and managing college loans. It also provides mobile messaging alerts and other money-management tools.

About 70 million people in the U.S. do not use banks, and ICS was founded in part “to teach financial literacy and provide underserved consumers a safe, convenient way of making purchases, paying bills and getting cash,” said Wade Goins, chief marketing officer.

“Our prepaid cards allow our clients to provide their employees and students with an easy-to-use alternative to credit cards, traditional banking, and check-cashing services—without the worry of going into debt, overdrawing an account, or incurring costly fees,” he said.

CincyTech CTO-in-residence Rahul Bawa says ICS also solves a problem for companies whose employees don’t have bank accounts by allowing employees to receive their pay directly on payroll cards, without the traditional overhead costs of issuing checks.

In addition to the CincyTech investment, two individual investors contributed an undisclosed amount in the financing round.

“We invested in ICS at a good time. It has already passed some of the barriers to entry in this market, has great business partners in place, has worked out the regulatory issues, and has a strong technology platform,” Bawa said.

Innovative Card Solutions has agreements with Urbana University, University of Evansville, Florida Memorial University, Trine University and Wilmington College to provide the service to their students, beginning this fall. ICS is working with a variety of staffing firms and payroll companies to provide payroll card solutions for their employees.

About Innovative Card Solutions

Innovative Card Solutions LLC is an independent, privately held, minority-owned corporation with offices in Cincinnati (headquarters) and Chicago. ICS powers the development and delivery of unique prepaid card programs and technology platforms, which are at the forefront of the electronic payments market and teach financial literacy, reduce costs, drive efficiencies and enhance brand awareness. ICS has formed strategic relationships with MasterCard, FIS, and The Bancorp Bank.

About CincyTech

CincyTech is a public-private venture development organization that invests in startup businesses in high-tech industries in Southwest Ohio. With substantial support from Ohio Third Frontier and corporations, foundations, civic organizations and individuals here, it is stimulating the growth of venture-worthy companies in information technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.

The iPayU and Spirit Prepaid MasterCards are issued by Center State Bank pursuant to license from MasterCard International Incorporated and can be used wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted. Center State Bank, Member FDIC.