Innovative Card Solutions promotes digital commerce

After 20 years of operating their own marketing agency with big-time clients including Cincinnati Bell, Kroger and Toyota, Cincinnati brothers Wade and Wyatt Goins are now making digital transactions easier for those without bank accounts.

Twin brothers and the youngest in a family of nine from Greenhills, the Goins co-founded Innovative Card Solutions. With a $250,000 investment from local seed-stage investor CincyTech as well as local investors Ed Rigaud and Dave Dougherty, ICS is primed to make moves in the financial world.

"About 70 million people in the U.S. do not use banks," says Wyatt Goins, chief operating officer, who has led the business development and operations since the company's inception. "Innovative Card Solutions was founded to help those people make safe, convenient purchases."

ICS provides prepaid debit-based payment programs for niche target groups. Right now, the company is working exclusively with two markets: corporations that want to provide incentives and direct payment to employees without checking accounts and universities that want to help students manage money and access tuition refunds.

By forming strategic relationships with MasterCard, FIS and Bankcorp, ICS's debit cards can be used anywhere that a debit MasterCard is accepted. The partnership with MasterCard also provides card holders with discounts at more than 235,000 retail stores nationwide.

This fall, Florida Memorial University and the University of Evansville will distribute ICS MasterCards to their 2,200 and 2,900 students, respectively.

Parents and students will be able to load money onto their cards as needed and also have the ability to budget and track their spending online. Also available online are 23 customizable training modules with topics ranging from monthly budgeting to managing college loans.

"Our product allows universities to provide their students with custom-branded debit cards that serve as an alternative to traditional credit cards and cash-checking services that can often land young people in hot water financially," says Wade Goins, chief marketing officer.

"We provide students and parents the peace of mind that they won't be able to overdraw their account, incur costly fees or have to worry about going into debt on top of already mounting student loans."

ICS is also providing prepaid debit cards to Urbana University, Trine University and Wilmington College this fall, as well as a variety of staffing firms and payroll companies, to provide direct payment and money management options for their employees.

By offering innovative products, leading-edge customizable designs and programs that reduce costs and teach financial literacy, ICS provides benefits to people of all levels of financial stability.

"We invested in ICS at a good time," says Rahul Bawa, CincyTech CTO in residence. "The company has already passed some of the barriers to entry in this market, has great business partners in place, has worked out the regulatory issues, and has a strong technology platform."

By Sarah Blazak for CincyTech
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