Russell Simmons Finally Talks About RushCard Screw Up  

Russell Simmons Finally Talks About RushCard Screw Up

Russell Simmons has not slept much since news broke in mid-October that users of his RushCard could not obtain their own money and were locked-out of their balances, thanks to a pc glitch, leaving some unable to make rent payments, pay utility bills or buy groceries for their families.

"Engineering glitches happen, yet this is a tsunami," stated Simmons in a special, hourlong meeting together with the NNPA Information Cable.

Customers began experiencing difficulties when Simmons' company switched to a new transaction processing supplier, some thing that he stated they've completed efficiently at least four-times.

"We made the transfer of procedures four separate occasions previously along with the next thing you know, I get a text-message that we provided for our customers that people were down for 2 hours," said Simmons, the renowned business tycoon who started Def Jam Records and the Phat Farm clothing line. "Our callcenter usually gets about 600 calls and today it is [acquiring] 600,000 calls."

Simmons stated that three multi-billion dollar companies were involved in the method and each continues to be beneficial in solving the technical problems associated with the most recent transition.

Simmons acknowledged MasterCard boss Ajaypal Singh Banga with immediately responding to the issue and helping to correct it.

"He is the CEO of a $120 million firm and he picked the telephone up on the primary band," Simmons said, adding that Banga has discussed a great deal about finding ways to reach under-served communities and the others who actually don't use conventional banks.

In the aftermath of the outage that wreaked havoc to the lives of tens of thousands of consumers, RushCard produced a multi-million-dollar fund to compensate clients who were changed.
Simmons also mentioned that he's observed the criticism regarding the interruption loud and clear and he's accepted it and today he's doing everything in his power to make his cardholders entire, even going beyond that.

"The way in which I view it, I am going to take every complaint and claim and spend it, whether or not it has any legality," stated Simmons. "I have noticed people being put out of their flats or in the hospital desiring medication and what I've done, what I do, is if they say they [dropped] $400, I Have given them right back that exact amount and I've also fixed their charges."

In addition to restoring customer balances in total, Simmons said that from Nov. 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016, RushCard clients will enjoy a no-charge vacation, which may exempt card users from paying month-to-month, transaction and ATM fees during that period. Those who start new accounts will also meet the requirements for the no-payment holiday benefits, but all consumers will be accountable for spending third-party fees.

While it is going to cost him money, he said it really is only one way of re gaining the trust of his faithful base.

"I like when this business is really profitable, then we are able to head away and assist the city in ways that no banking, no non-Dark association ever will," he said.

UniRush, LLC, the business that possesses RushCard, was co-founded by Simmons 1 2 years ago to assist reduced-to-moderate income people and households have a simpler time paying bills and handling their money.

"The RushCard is the embodiment of my concept of empowerment, because this is a better and more see-through option for millions of 'underbanked' and 'unbanked' Americans, who often endure at the hands of big banking institutions organizations," Simmons said.

The Federal Deposit-Insurance Corporation reported that Black families are more likely to be unbanked (20.5 percent), which indicates that they don't have an account at an insured association, than their White counterparts. Less than 4 % of Whites are considered unbanked.

About 3 3 per cent of Black families are considered underbanked, this means that even although they have a bank account, they have also relied on alternate financial-services within the past 12 weeks. About 16 percent of White families are under-banked.

Simmons said that those employees are locked out from the American Dream.

"That is why it was so very important to place plastic inside their hands, so that they are able to move online and spend their bills," explained Simmons. "What I learned is that we can get their [direct deposits] to them two and sometimes three days previously. We offer it to them as soon as it's posted also it keeps them away from payday loans tucson - -."

Regulators have argued contrary to the utilization of prepaid cards, citing large fees as well as the ease where scam artists could get balances.

Regardless of the outcry by national specialists and the others before and because the RushCard technical problems commenced, Simmons stated that he's providing something for the under-served and others that they possibly don't have access to traditional banking services or are being over-charged.

Simmons added, "No one else is giving it to them, this service."

Simmons also said that fees for his card are not as high as other prepaid cards and RushCard members have access to 25,000 free ATMs.

According to, the Prepaid Visa RushCard "Pay-As-You-Go Plan" is among a few of cards which have no monthly maintenance fees. The card does carry an activation fee that ranges between $3.95 and $9.95 and users are additionally charged 50-cents for every out-of-system ATM balance inquiry.

In comparison, Walmart's MoneyCard Plus has a $3 monthly servicing fee, an activation charge which can be as high as $4 and bills $1 for every ATM balance inquiry, except for questions produced at MoneyPass ATMs.

Simmons stated his company has hired additional workers to help answer and resolve customer complaints and that cardholders should continue to statement problems and any financial hardships caused by the 2-week disruption to the RushCard call center.

"I want my customers to know that we shall recover RushCard as the gold-standard of [prepaid check card] services in our community," said Simmons.

Simmons continued: "I desire to assure people who depend on on the RushCard that I'll not rest till we've regained your trust."