Preparing for Crisis

Netspend is a leading provider of reloadable prepaid cards and other financial services to those who are underbanked, meaning they don’t have a traditional bank account or prefer to use alternative fiscal services. The company’s mission is to empower its customers to be self-banked.


Operating in the highly regulated financial industry, Netspend faced heightened public scrutiny that only increased as the company scaled. And while Netspend had created a crisis communications plan in-house, it had become inadequate to serve the company’s evolving needs. Netspend looked to INK not only to refresh the existing plan, but also inject it with our outside expertise.


After a thorough review, INK determined an overhaul was needed to make Netspend’s plan more applicable to modern concerns and today’s heightened expectations for brand communication. INK conducted interviews with Netspend’s key stakeholders to determine business sensitivities and areas of limited control, such as its partnerships and external environments. We then audited the company’s extensive partner list, product portfolio, and regulatory history to spot potential crisis vulnerabilities and shape the plan accordingly.

INK worked with Netspend to establish a crisis chain of leadership notification, which outlined a clear procedure for who gets notified and/or involved in response actions and what each role entails. We then developed the most-referenced part of the crisis plan—the scenarios, which are specific situations that are critical to be prepared for. Once identified, we established unique responses for each. In tandem, INK was leading a refresh of Netspend’s positioning and messaging, which gave us the opportunity to incorporate the company’s updated brand narrative into each response of the crisis plan.

Because of INK’s work, we have been able to quickly deploy our strategic messaging when issues have occurred, avoid media crises, and refine our plan over time to meet emerging challenges.

Adam Dawes

Senior Manager of Corporate Communications, Netspend


Ultimately, INK developed a comprehensive, process-oriented crisis plan that was easy for Netspend to follow and implement. Both teams have returned to it frequently since it was put in place, especially to pull pre-drafted statements for specific situations and reference procedure for issue escalation. To ensure the plan remains up-to-date, INK regularly revises the scenario section in real-time as issues arise and evolve.