Meet ClearSpend

Greater financial management, control

BBVA Compass goes after growing prepaid market, upgrades its card with budgeting app


  • App automatically learns spending habits, suggests customized budgets

  • Usage of prepaid cards has expanded significantly, with millennials leading the way


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – BBVA Compass, in a nod to the increasing use of prepaid debit cards across all ages and income levels, is debuting its ClearSpend card with a mobile budgeting app to give users better control of their financial lives.  

The app for the BBVA Compass ClearSpend prepaid Visa® debit card helps customers track and manage everyday spending. The card, a replacement of the bank’s SafeSpend card, is the latest product to embody the bank’s new “banking on a brighter future” brand platform, which conveys its desire to put consumers in better control of their finances through trusted advice and personalized, fast and convenient services.

“Our research shows a rapidly expanding market, with more clients turning to prepaid cards to manage their budgets, stay out of debt and avoid overdraft and check-cashing fees,” said BBVA Compass Chief Digital Banking Officer Jeff Dennes. “The cards are more mainstream now and expectations have risen. Clients expect greater account management functionality, and we’ve responded with one of the most convenient and easy-to-use products in the industry.” 

The BBVA Compass ClearSpend app, which was developed in partnership with Engage Financial Technology, tracks expenses made using the ClearSpend Visa® card, and after 30 days of spending, it automatically creates personalized budgets — which clients can adjust — for groceries, entertainment, transportation, dining out and other categories based on monthly spending habits. Real-time in-app mobile alerts contain information on transaction amounts and locations, current balances and category budgeting trends, helping clients to monitor purchases and control spending. Clients can block or unblock a card, as well as report a card lost or stolen from within the app.

“ClearSpend gives our clients clarity, providing invaluable insights into how they use their money,” Dennes said. “It’s great for anyone looking to track their discretionary funds, create a household budget or as a way to teach young people about spending money.”

The usage of prepaid cards among consumer groups has expanded significantly in recent years, with millennials, adults 18 to 32, leading the way, according to internal and external research — like the findings in “Millennials with Money: A New Look at Who Uses GPR Prepaid Cards,” a recent study co-authored by a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia official. Prepaid cards are no longer primarily sought by underbanked or lower-income consumers, but also by consumers who need a way to budget their money or teach teenagers how to budget.

“Many clients with traditional bank products and services are adding prepaid cards to their suite of financial services, and income level has also become less of an indicator of who’s using the product,” said Dennes.

Customers can apply for the BBVA Compass ClearSpend online, at any BBVA Compass branch or by downloading the free BBVA Compass ClearSpend app from the Apple iTunes App Store or Google Play. Funds can be added to the card in several ways, including: loading funds with your BBVA Compass debit card on the app, direct deposit, externally transferring funds to ClearSpend with services like popmoney, or loading cash at any BBVA Compass branch or Visa ReadyLink location. For more information, visit