UPDATE: Watch out for the many fees that come with this card.
If you've been browsing around the Internet lately you may have heard that video game publisher Capcom is launching its own brand of prepaid Visa cards. The cards are branded with a variety of Capcom properties such as Street Fighter, Bionic Commando, and Resident Evil and offer a rewards program that eventually pays out Capcom-related merchandise. I'm not sure why Capcom is headed down this road, but they must have a good reason. There are more efficient ways to offer loyalty programs that don't involve dealing with prepaid cards. I'm guessing this is aimed at younger Capcom fans who cannot have credit cards. No, wait, that can't be right. The cards are branded with properties that are rated T-for-Teen and M-for-Mature, so they can't be intended primarily for children. Maybe this is aimed at older Capcom fans that, for whatever reason, cannot handle a credit card. So, a loyalty program for financial slackers then? In the current economy they might as well throw the idea to the wall and see if it sticks. Here's a bit of the press release:
This is not a credit card, but an innovative user-funded prepaid card that works anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, earning a precedent-setting series of cash back, points on Capcom’s community website Capcom-Unity.com, accelerated rewards from select retail and merchandise partners, discounts and exclusive access. Most importantly, Capcom’s enthusiastic fan base will be able to pay for dinner, get money from an ATM or buy games with a Visa card featuring some of the most recognizable video game characters on the planet, from games such as Street Fighter® IV and Resident Evil® 5.
The Capcom Unity Visa prepaid card represents a true fiscal alternative for Capcom fans, allowing them to pick from several Capcom-themed prepaid card designs – including initial designs featuring art and images from Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando®, with more designs to be offered regularly in the future – and control how much money is available on their prepaid card through easy and efficient online account access. Since this is not a credit card, almost everyone in North America over the age of 13 can qualify, with absolutely no impact to their credit history. Purchases are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Policy , and funds deposited on the card are fully FDIC-insured.
It's a shame that this isn't an actual credit card because I have a great idea on how Capcom could handle delinquent accounts. It's actually very simple. If you don't pay your bill on time, Ryu comes to your house and beats the crap out of you. I have an idea for the loyalty program rewards, too. If you do pay your bill on time, Chun-Li comes to your house and beats the crap out of you.