Herman runs "CashQuick", a small check-cashing and payday loan service downtown, with his family for most of the office help. He was looking for a way to answer his phones when he wasn't in the office, and found Genie. What he found in addition was a way to solve a very real 'cash flow' problem.
"We actually keep very little cash on hand here, despite what you might think," says Herman. "It's just too much of a temptation for robbers and too much of a danger for my family while they're working here. That's not the way it used to work, but that's all changed since we got Genie.
"Now, about the only cash we have here is the money that people bring in to pay on their loan balances. We don't hand anything out in actual cash anymore," Herman declares. "Let me tell you. When someone comes in to cash a check with us, or take out a short-term 'payday' loan, we don't give them cash - we give them a GenieCard. There are dozens of good reasons, but they really boil down to safety; safety for us, safety for them and safety for my family while they work here.
"You see, the cards are worthless until we activate them and load a balance on them. So if a burglar breaks in overnight, or someone tries to rob us and takes a bunch of cards, they haven't got anything but a plastic card - it's useless, so the money is safe. And because the cards are useless until we turn 'em on, then there's less temptation for anyone to be a 'hero' and get someone hurt trying to stop some stupid robber.
"Finally, it's safer for our customers because when they walk out of here they don't have a wad of bills that some thief can just grab and run with - they have a card that they can use to buy their groceries at the store, or pay for gas for the car. And if they do want cash, they can take out just the part they really need at an ATM where the bank has all the security.
"We have a lot of regulars - people who come here to cash their paychecks, or always seem to run a little behind each month and need an advance to pay the water bill. Now, they just bring back the GenieBank ATM card each time and we reload it. They don't have to learn a new PIN code every time, because it's the same card.
"Not only that, but if the card does get stolen - or if they just lose it - they haven't lost the money, because it's protected by that PIN code I mentioned. A thief can't use the card without that code, so all they have to do is come back and tell us what happened. We can stop the stolen card and give them a replacement in just minutes. Try that with cash!
"When it comes to what little cash we DO get - from the loan repayments - we don't keep it long at all. Two or three times a day me or sometimes my Grandpa Al goes over to the bank across the street and deposits it right back into our main GenieBank account. Yes! I KNOW that's a Bank of America branch, but they handle the GenieBank deposits just as easily.
Herman goes on to explain, "We also just added a new service thanks to Genie - sending money home. A bunch of our customers used to ask us about wiring money home, and I couldn't do it for them because I didn't want to get into the high fees and the machines that the big guys wanted me to put in. Now we just give them a GenieBank card that they can mail to the folks back home. It doesn't matter if it's across the state, across the country or on the other side of the world. Then the CUSTOMER can transfer as much or as little money as they want from their own GenieBank card to the one they sent their folks - whenever they want. We can charge them a lot less than the traditional wire services and still make a good profit; they can do it anytime they want; and their people don't have to find some wire-service office - it's right there on that ATM card."