Western Union, Wyclef Jean killing us softly with prepaid gift-card fees

Western Union (WU) is expanding into the business of prepaid debit and credit cards, and Wyclef Jean is selling them softly with his song and his star power. Jean, the Grammy-winning rapper and former Fugee, is helping the money-sending service launch a co-branded prepaid Visa gift card, just in time for the holidays, tapping his appeal as a humanitarian leader to solidfy Western Union as the remittance leader among immigrants, who often send money home during the holiday season.

The U.S. Immigration Department estimates that worldwide remittances total more than $126 billion.