Russell Simmons Defends RushCard

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons


It appears that Russell Simmons is pissed off about the criticism that his Rush Card has received.   But, he was so obviously flustered by something he read online that he took the time to write a full open letter to the critics.  Read what he has to say here:

Since April is financial literacy month I feel this is a perfect time to set the record straight concerning comments I have been reading online about the RushCard.

Although a recent NY Times article was not judgmental about the RushCard, I’m disappointed that they did not do any research when quoting critics who say the RushCard pushes people into debt.  The RushCard is a prepaid card, NOT a credit card.  It gives people the convenience of a credit card without the debt.  Financial literacy month is when people should know the truth about options to manage their money, not when misinformation should be spread to keep the underserved communities suppressed.

I have watched with pride the way RushCard has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people giving them respect and dignity.  It gives underserved communities the tools to get their money right.

The RushCard helps struggling Americans who find themselves without access to bank accounts or credit.  They have to tackle difficult and expensive obstacles every day when they need to pay their bills. When they go to a check cashing place they are forced to pay a huge fee just to get their money and pay fees. Typically, 10% of their paycheck goes to these fees and they spend 8 to 10 hours a week to go pay bills in person. They cannot pay bills without standing in line, and it’s difficult for them to rent a car or shop online.  This separates them from part of the American Dream that other Americans are free to enjoy.

Some people pay a lot to have a bank account.  The average US household pays over $340 a year in bank insufficient fund fees. In fact, most of these are paid by members of underserved communities totaling over $1,300 per year per household.  I have read that we are somehow trying to take advantage of people by charging high fees. It¹s a very competitive space and even Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, has followed us with their own prepaid card.

We¹ve built many innovative tools to help people save money. Over half of the RushCard members who use these tools say they save more than $300 a year. 30% say they¹re saving $600/year. We¹re constantly adding new features to help people.

I needed to do something to help the underserved. It had to be an entrepreneurial venture to make it grow fast enough. In five years we have over 1.5 million members and the biggest source of new members is from current members talking about the card. The people who need the card and use it really understand its value. Our biggest advertisers are our members themselves, spreading its value by word of mouth to their friends and family.

In short, I have no interest in building companies that don’t have empowerment components for communities in need.  The focus of all my businesses will always be to serve. Scripture says, “do not forget the poor” so I will always make it my job to help relieve the suffering of others whenever possible. I am thrilled to see the RushCard is doing just that.

I invite critics to compete with RushCard in this space. This will help us all find better solutions for underserved communities.

4 thoughts on “Russell Simmons Defends RushCard”

  1. he should be trying to defend his clients who are falling victim to he workers heres my problem i had my direct deposit from my tax return go to my sister card even though i had my own because she manages my money better but they took it upon themselves to put it on my card anyway and then block the card with my tax return on it i am at the library right now because my light are off my phone is off my water is off and my kids at my sister because i couldnt get my money of my card to pay the bills last week cause they blocked my card and said it was fraud how can any company take your money i asked for a corporate number they say they have no way of contacting corporate i never in my life seen a company that doesnt allow a client to speak with corporate this is bull shit what can i do?

  2. Why would you try to Direct Deposit your money onto someone elses card and then blame the company.Doing that caused a red flag and thats why your card is blocked. That just sounds dumb to me. Rush is doing a good job to prevent fraud. I doubt if you would have had this problem if you wouldn’t have been trying to do something underhanded.

    Good Luck with the lights, I have been there.

  3. I have had the worst time with Rush Card and there service. Thought it works fine with transactions it doesn’t when you are dealing with a cancelation. They are horrible customer service reps and Russell needs to make drastic improvements for his company. I will not tell any of my friends to join the Rush Card community. It will be a waste of time. It really is too bad-I wanted to support and back an African American company but I now see it was a mistake on my part to trust them. I have to wait weeks just to get back my money? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

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