The city of Oakland will introduce an identification card that also serves as a reloadable prepaid debit card. Oakland claims to be the first city to have a card with both these features.
The card was primarily designed for illegal residents who may not have identification or a traditional bank account. This banking feature helps them avoid expensive check-cashing outlets.
The cardholder can draw money from a prepaid account they set up. Reloading on the cards can take place at various sites around the city. The card will have fraud protection provided by MasterCard.
But the cards have a number of fees associated with their use, including an initial $15 cost for the card. Additional costs include a $2.99 monthly fee, a 75-cent fee on purchases, a $1.75 fee for calling customer service, a $2.95 fee to load money onto the card and a $1.50 ATM withdrawal fee.
City officials say the fees are less than those charged by check cashing outlets.
Cards are expected to be available on March 15.