An offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement is planning to take banks on at their own game with the launch of a pre-paid debit card.
Marking the second anniversary of protesters' arrival in Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Money Cooperative (OMC) is promising to start a revolution in banking, offering low-cost, transparent financial services to the 99%.
A fortnight ago it began asking for donations to get its first product - a pre-paid debit card - off the ground. At the time of writing, the group had raised just under $3,500, well short of its stated goal of $900,000.
OMC has also come under fire from some within the Occupy movement because its product relies on one of the established financial services industry's biggest players, Visa.
Carne Ross, a former British diplomat and OMC board member told the New York Times that he respects the objections to a relationship with Visa but that it is essential if the card is to be of any use to customers.
On its Web site, the group says: "The use of the Visa platform will provide our members with a universally accepted product, but the OMC will not have an agreement with Visa. Visa will be receiving only their standard share of any transaction revenue. A larger percentage of the revenue will flow to the OMC, rather than Visa or any conventional financial institution."
Joining Ross on the OMC board are former Deutsche Bank director Christian Brammer, BlackBerry executive Ray Gillenwater and Cornell University Law School professor Robert Hockett.