Do you trust your favorite TV channel enough to shop with it? Univision, the mega Hispanic channel, has a new product to sell – a Univision MasterCard. It looks like a credit card, but it's prepaid. On Channel 14, the Bay Area’s Univision station, you can see ads for the Univision MasterCard promising that no credit check, no Social Security number, not even a bank account is needed.

The card was launched this year after Univision Communications announced a partnership with MasterCard Worldwide at the end of last year. It's being marketed as a safer alternative to cash and as the next step in Univision's "Cuentas Claras" financial literacy campaign for Latinos.

Latinos are more likely to rely on cash, and less likely to have bank accounts, than their white counterparts. And that has led some to be targets of muggings in recent years. El Mensajero, San Francisco’s Spanish-language weekly, called this trend "amigo checking."

Applying for a prepaid card through a television station might sound risky, but Univision has a long history of trust among Latinos. A poll back in 1996 found that Univision was the second most trusted institution among U.S. Latinos, after the Catholic Church.

Trust – it's one thing money can’t buy.

Do you trust your favorite TV channel enough to shop with it? Univision, the mega Hispanic channel, has a new product to sell – a Univision MasterCard. It looks like a credit card, but it's prepaid. On Channel 14, the Bay Area’s Univision station, you can see ads for the Univision MasterCard promising that no credit check, no Social Security number, not even a bank account is needed.

The card was launched this year after Univision Communications announced a partnership with MasterCard Worldwide at the end of last year. It's being marketed as a safer alternative to cash and as the next step in Univision's "Cuentas Claras" financial literacy campaign for Latinos.

Latinos are more likely to rely on cash, and less likely to have bank accounts, than their white counterparts. And that has led some to be targets of muggings in recent years. El Mensajero, San Francisco’s Spanish-language weekly, called this trend "amigo checking."

Applying for a prepaid card through a television station might sound risky, but Univision has a long history of trust among Latinos. A poll back in 1996 found that Univision was the second most trusted institution among U.S. Latinos, after the Catholic Church.

Trust – it's one thing money can’t buy.

-- Elena Shore