Russell Simmons Creates a “Multi-Million Dollar” Fund to Help Rush Card Victims –
Earlier this month, the Guardian reported that thousands of holders of one of the most popular prepaid debit cards in circulation, the RushCard, founded in 2003 by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, found themselves unable to access their funds for the better part of two weeks. Blocked from buying groceries and medication, getting hold of cash they needed to pay their rent or purchase gas for their cars, they have been venting their fury at both the card and the organization on social and traditional media.
There are certainly plenty of reasons for RushCard’s holders to be livid, especially given the initial vague response: the company blamed a “technology transition”, while Simmons himself simply said he was “praying” for those affected, in a since-deleted tweet.
But this isn’t a problem limited to RushCard. The Pew Charitable Trusts reported in June that about 23 million Americans use prepaid cards such as RushCard regularly, up about 50% between 2012 and 2014, with many treating them like bank accounts and having their pay checks directly deposited to the card. That backfired badly when those direct deposits went through, only for cardholders to find that their money is now in limbo, inaccessible.
According to Black America Web, RushCard, the pre-paid debit card backed by rap mogul Russell Simmons, will create a “multi-million dollar” fund to help cover the costs that its customers suffered while the card was hit with technical problems earlier this month.
RushCard customers who can show they incurred late fees, lost a deposit on an apartment, or any such financial setback as a direct result of the RushCard problems will be compensated, the company said Thursday.
“This whole situation has been devastating for them, and we want to make sure they are made whole,” said Russell Simmons in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.
Technical problems tied to RushCard moving to a new payment processor, a division of MasterCard, caused hundreds of thousands of RushCard customers to lose access to their money for as many as 10 days earlier this month.