Immigrant brothers from Mexico, Bert and Roy Sosa, were attending college when they realized that many of their friends were unable to purchase items online because they had no credit cards or bank accounts. Using their pooled money of $750, they founded Netspend in 1999.
While the Sosa’s originally planned to sell their prepaid cards to students, they quickly realized that they could reach a much larger base by offering them online to anyone without a bank account, credit card, or those who don’t want to deal with those institutions but need another option to purchase items besides cash.
The company offers a prepaid Visa or Mastercard, which requires a small fee to open the account and charges a fee each time it is used. Netspend recently partnered with Family Dollar and 7-Eleven to sell their cards in their stores.
Headquarters for Netspend will remain in Austin, Texas.