When you think Occupy Wall Street, do you think "financial products"? Because the Occupy Money Cooperative would like you to do just that. Two weeks ago it began raising money to fund its operations (it'll function like a bank) and announced its first product: a prepaid Occupy debit card, the New York Times reports. The card can represent "a protest with every purchase," the group proclaims, promising that it will "directly tackle the concerns of the unbanked and underbanked." The card will have a transparent fee structure, charging $1.95 per ATM withdrawal and 99 cents per balance inquiry.
"There is no profit here," promises one cooperative member. But many in the movement are skeptical. "Too much blood, sweat, and tears have been going into Occupy to have that turned into a piece of plastic," says one longtime participant. Others are balking at the card's association with Visa, which refused to process donations for WikiLeaks, while some simply object to the implication that the whole movement backs the card. "Occupy has always been a consensus-based movement," one organizer says. "And there's no consensus on this issue."