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Ex-Prez Clinton Urges Card Issuers to Serve the Unbanked

By Steve Kietz

By Steve KietzNote: This is the first in a series of reports from the Prepaid Expo by Steve Kietz, a 2008 BS&T Elite 8 honoree and now managing partner at Woodbury Advisors LLC

The big event of Prepaid Expo USA 2010 was the speech by President Bill Clinton. Just ten days after stent surgery, Clinton flew from NYC to Las Vegas to give two paid speeches. I think the destination (and the honorarium of course) was highly motivating.

He looked slim and a bit tired but Democrats and Republicans alike were wowed by his one hour chat including a very limited Q&A.

He gave a great talk that got to the heart of the U.S. health care crisis, how the world has to work together and even some good ideas designed specifically for the prepaid business execs in the room.

His key theme for the health care situation is that we must cut spending. The U.S. spends 17% of GDP on health care, and no other nation spends more than 11% of GDP. Nuff said.

He strongly believes rich and poor nations must work better together. His work with Haiti expresses that.

And he spoke about needed action to deal with climate change. The U.S. is making much less progress on being "green" than our key competitors.

He had six big ideas for prepaid business execs: 1) use prepaid cards for the unbanked; 2) use prepaid cards for health care-having the cards will make us all more conscious of what we spend; 3) use prepaid products as a tool for helping young people and the underclass learn good financial management; 4)use prepaid products combined with mobile for P2P products in remote areas; 5) use prepaid cards to control fraud and improve funds distribution for disaster relief; 6) prepaid cards eliminate paper-good for the ecology.

I liked Clinton's ideas. It was also obvious and appreciated that he did his homework about the tradeshow and prepared specific content. That was not true of most of the speakers.

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