iBankUp Launches to Help Gen Y Avoid Overdraft Fees and Debt

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PlastyC has thrown its hat into the Gen Y banking arena with iBankUp, an online bank anchored by a prepaid debit card. PlastyC is definitely positioning the product as a way for younger, web-savvy consumers to combat overdraft fees and credit card debt. According to the PlastyC press release:

“The recent overdraft fee curbs by Chase and Bank of America don’t go far enough. Whether you are in school or in the workforce, you deserve efficient, affordable services for handling your finances without getting hit by onerous fees,” said Patrice Peyret, CEO of Plastyc. “iBankUP, a pioneer in its category, satisfies your need to be informed and in control. And unlike conventional bank accounts, iBankUP doesn’t require a high minimum balance or charge interest or overdraft fees.”

The iBankUp website includes a comparison with its competitors, including Russell Simmon’s Rush Card and WalMart’s Money Card:
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As well as a comparison of having a checking account vs. not having a traditional checking account (notice the Facebook mention):
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It looks like PlastyC is really using the current mood of today’s fee- and debt-weary consumer as a branding platform. I think this is a smart and relevant way to approach banking with this audience. This is in contrast to the many anti-bank campaigns I’ve seen launched in the past few months. Instead of taking a dark, negative tone toward banks, iBankUp is addressing the challenges Gen Y faces and provides an easy and practical solution. I prefer this approach to the mud-slinging campaigns I’ve seen recently. It’s much more uplifting and positive, and should play out well with Gen Y’s generally optimistic outlook.

With less than 24 hours since iBankUp’s launch, it’s much too soon to tell if this approach will work. At the very minimum, it gives us a new model to explore and discuss.

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