Banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. is discontinuing its Chase Liquid general-purpose reloadable prepaid card and replacing it with a checking account called Chase Secure Banking, which has many of the same features but requires the customer to open a Chase bank account.
Launched in 2012 and aimed mainly at lower-income consumers, the Visa-branded Liquid card could accept direct deposits but did not require holders to have a conventional account at Chase. All the holder needed to do was initially load $25 onto the card. Banks today, however, are looking for ways to find new, long-term customers as fewer consumers visit branches and non-bank financial options proliferate.
But consumers still want bank relationships, says New York City-based Chase, which has about 5,000 branches. The new account will replace Chase Liquid “because it includes enhancements based on customer feedback that indicated the need for a full banking experience,” a Chase news release says.
Chase Secure Banking has the same $4.95 monthly fee as Chase Liquid. The new account includes a Visa debit card for payments and access to 17,500 Chase-branded ATMs, access to Chase’s mobile app and online banking, direct deposit, and other banking services. It does not provide paper checks. Current Chase Liquid cardholders can keep their Liquid account after opening a Chase Secure Banking account, but Liquid no longer will be offered to new customers, Chase said.
“A bank account can open doors to economic opportunity and improve the financial lives of so many across the country,” Thasunda Duckett, chief executive of Chase Consumer Banking, said in the release. “As a bank, we want to help more consumers get access to an account that can better help them manage their everyday needs while building their financial health.”