FAQs

What are Mercy Cards?

When will Mercy Cards be available?

Are you a non-profit?

What fees do you charge?

Where can Mercy Cards be used?

Why canít Mercy Cards be used at merchants other than restaurants?

What are the advantages for Recipients?

What are the advantages for Donors?

What are the advantages for Partners (homeless shelters)?/

Should someone buy a Mercy Card even if they have already given to a shelter?

What happens to the remaining funds?

What happens to the cards once their used up?

What are Mercy Cards?

Mercy Cards are innovative prepaid gift cards that will allow everyday samaritans to donate money electronically to the homeless. The key feature of these cards is its ability to restrict the purchase of undesirable goods (liquor and alcohol), thereby ensuring that the funds are used responsibly.

Mercy Cards will be available for purchase online at www.mercycards.com and will be distributed to the homeless community of your choosing through our network of partners. Mercy Cards will also be available for purchase at stores for direct gifting to those in need.

When will Mercy Cards be available?

We are still in development of Mercy Cards and hope to roll the program out in the first quarter of 2013. If you are interested in helping us get started please donate to our Indiegogo page.

Are you a non-profit?

No. We are a for-profit corporation, incorporated in the State of Delaware. As a mission-driven for profit corporation, we are striving to achieve the largest impact possible. By employing for-profit business practices we will continuously improve efficiency, thereby maximizing the welfare of all owners, partners, and clients.

What fees do you charge?

At Mercy Cards we believe in full transparency. We plan to charge a flat fee in addition to the face value of the card. We are still negotiating these fees with card manufacturers and will strive to minimize costs, but we need to cover credit card, technology and administrative fees as well as capital and investment costs.

Where can Mercy Cards be used?

Mercy Cards will be built on the Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or similar electronic payment system network, but use of the cards will be restricted to restaurants.

Why can Mercy Cards only be used at restaurants?

Great question. At Mercy Cards we are well aware that the needs of the homeless community are greater than food and we are working on technological solutions to include other types of purchases. However, we had to start somewhere and we believe that food is the most basic human need.

What are the advantages for Recipients?

The main advantage to a Recipient is decreased access to drugs and alcohol. 38% of the homeless are dependent on alcohol and 26% are dependent on drugs. Most astonishing is the fact that these people depend on you for income. Therefore, by limiting the homelessí access to traditional cash, a universal currency, we can help the homeless help themselves. Other important benefits include bringing electronic payments technology to the underserved and the dignity associated with initiating a purchase with a card as opposed to a cup filled with coins.

Please refer to the article entitled Substance Abuse and Homelessness, published by the National Coalition for Homelessness (July 2009) for additional information and statistics on homelessness in America.

What are the advantages for Donors?

Mercy Cards provides everyone the ability to impact their community by helping to ensure that those facing hardship do not have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Most importantly, Mercy Card alleviates concerns arising from the misuse of oneís generosity to purchase drugs or alcohol.

What are the advantages to Partners?

Our homeless shelter partners are essential to our business strategy. We do not compete with shelters and plan to leverage their networks to help us distribute Mercy Cards. In our preliminary conversations with our Partners, they are ecstatic to work with us and they see Mercy Cards as a tool that will enable them to better serve their clients.

Should someone buy a Mercy Card even if they have already given to a shelter?

See the answer to the previous question. We do not compete with shelters and see them as key partners striving towards a common goal.

What happens to remaining funds?

Great question. As with other gift cards, Mercy Cards will likely have a small unused balance (think about how hard it is to spend exactly $5, or $10 in a store). We anticipate that all unused funds will be pooled and donated to homeless shelters with which we are partnered.

What happens to the cards once they are used up?

We will work with retailers to collect the cards and return them to Mercy Cards for re-use.