Plastyc closes CIVC investment
07 February 2011 | 3289 views | 0
Plastyc, provider of a leading Internet and mobile money management platform for the underbanked, announced today the closing of a strategic investment by Core Innovation Capital, the investment partner of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).
The financing will be used to build out additional services for Plastyc's own customers, as well as delivering services to other financial institutions looking to serve the underbanked using a premium, cost-effective platform.
Plastyc's iBankUP money management service and UPside line of prepaid VISA cards address fast-growing demand by the underbanked for responsible financial services. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, roughly 60 million people in the U.S. do not frequent banks or credit unions. Millions more Americans have difficulty getting credit cards due to the Credit Card Act of 2009 and can't afford checking accounts due to fee increases. These groups comprise an estimated 100 million or more people in the U.S. who can benefit from better banking services that are more tailored to their needs.
Due to this demand, reloadable prepaid cards, which offer banking services without a traditional bank account, have seen explosive growth of approximately 60 percent per year since 2007, according to the AITE Group.
iBankUP and UPside cards are experiencing fast adoption by the underbanked, supported by Plastyc's state-of-the-art consumer payments platform and a partnership with VISA, the world's largest payment network. Plastyc's platform supports rapid innovation of key functionality for underbanked consumers. For example, iBankUP was the first to offer completely mobile banking, e-check writing, prepaid phone airtime refills and Facebook access through partnerships and standard technology integrations.
"Premium banking services are critical for the underbanked, and Internet and mobile are the right platforms for speed to market and affordability," said Patrice Peyret, founder and CEO of Plastyc.
Core Innovation Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in innovative and socially responsible financial services for underbanked and unbanked consumers in the U.S. It is the investment partner of CFSI, the nation's leading authority on financial services for underbanked consumers. CFSI helps pave the path to prosperity for underbanked consumers by developing market intelligence, facilitating partnerships, influencing public policy and investing in promising innovations.
"We are very impressed with Plastyc's tremendous growth, its leading technology platform and their low-cost, but high-value financial offerings. It is a perfect fit for our mission to provide the best value to underbanked consumers by supporting growth-stage financial technology companies," said Mike Harris, a partner at Core Innovation Capital who will join the board of directors of Plastyc.
Plastyc was launched by a team of financial innovation entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Plastyc, Patrice Peyret built Mobile365 into a leading mobile messaging and content delivery company acquired by Sybase (now part of SAP) in an all cash $425 million transaction in 2006. He also founded Integrity Arts, a smart card technology company acquired by Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) in 1997. Co-founders Carles Guillot and Justin Surman bring leadership built developing products and services for American Express, CitiBank, MasterCard, Sony Music and T-Mobile. Other companies in the track record of the founding team include Oberthur, Signio (now part of PayPal, an eBay company), ClairMail, Lending Club, and Genetic Finance.