I entered AAA looking to get Travelers Checks. They said that they were no longer available. They steered me into getting one of these Visa Travel Money Cards because of the fraud protections and ultimately, I was defrauded and now they are not behind me.
There are many different ways to pay, including gift cards, prepaid cards, or even with your mobile phone. But you don’t get the same consumer protections with each payment choice. We’re working to expose bad practices and to enact strong protections no matter how you pay.
Subtopics of Payments
- Pay Me How? What You Should Know About Payroll Cards
This article covers trends in the payroll card market, benefits and risks of using the cards, applicable state and federal laws, and tips for advocates assisting workers on payroll cards. Originally published in the July-August 2014 issue of the Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. Click the link below for the full article.
- CU Urges Dept. of Education to Protect College Students Using Campus Debit Cards
This memo explains the varying protections that apply to debit and prepaid cards, and urges the Department of Education to provide strong protections to students using “campus debit cards” to access their financial aid. Read full memo here.
- CU letter to the National League of Cities on hybrid municipal prepaid cards
CU is concerned that some prepaid cards issued recently by cities do not provide consumers with the kind of fair deal consumers deserve
- CU letter to the International City/County Management Association on hybrid municipal prepaid cards
CU is concerned that some prepaid cards issued recently by cities do not provide consumers with the kind of fair deal consumers deserve.
- Gift Cards: Consumer Tips for the 2012 HolidaySeason
Gift cards continue to be a very popular gift giving solution. Before you buy or receive a gift card this holiday season, be sure you know which protections apply to your card, as they may vary depending on the type of card you buy.
- Comments to the CFPB on Prepaid Cards
FINAL Cmt ANPR Prepaid 7.23.12
- CU Testifies Before House Financial Services Committee on Mobile Payments
Testimony of Suzanne Martindale Staff Attorney Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. on The Future of Money: How Mobile Payments Could Change Financial Services before the Committee On Financial Services Subcommittee On Financial Institutions And Consumer Credit March 22, 2012 Chairman Capito, Ranking Member Continue Reading
- CU Comment on electronic payments for federal financial aid
- Pay at Your Risk? How to Make Every Way to Pay Safe for Mobile Payments
Consumers today have a bewildering number of choices when it comes to paying for goods and services
- How Top Wireless Carriers Compare on Consumer Protections For Mobile Payments
How Top Wireless Carriers Compare on Consumer Protections For Mobile Payments Most cell phone and tablet users can currently make mobile payments charged to a prepaid phone account or their monthly bill. But when consumers use these payment options, they may not get the protections they need to limit their financial liability if something goes Continue Reading
- Consumers Union urges cities to avoid unfair prepaid card practices
CU raises concerns about high fees and weak protections as cities begin issuing prepaid cards
- Consumer protections lacking for mobile payments
Consumers Union finds protections fall short when mobile payments are linked to phone accounts
- T-Mobile’s mobile payment plan risky for consumers
eless carrier’s direct carrier billing program not covered by protections against fraud and mistakes
- Emerging Mobile Payment Methods Could Pose Financial Risk to Consumers
Consumers Union calls on wireless carriers to protect consumers
- Mobile payments could leave consumers at risk
CU calls on regulators to require mobile payment providers to abide by strong consumer protections
- Rebate cards come with fees and other gotchas
CU offers tips to consumers on getting the most from rebate cards
- Federal Reserve Board urged to limit gift card fees
Consumer groups urge the Federal Reserve Board to limit fees and make gift cards more consumer friendly
- CU applauds Obama credit card proposals
Treasury Department offers support for stronger protections as the House prepares to vote on credit card bill
- Senate panel to consider landmark credit card bill
Consumer groups urge support for bill to curb unfair credit card practices
- Foreclosure plan offers hope for homeowners
Obama’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program aims to spur banks to make at-risk mortgages more affordable
- CFPB Warns Consumers About Bitcoin and other Virtual Currencies
Last June we wrote about how the CFPB would be paying closer attention to virtual currencies. Today the CFPB issued a warning for consumers about risks of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, XRP, and Dogecoin. The CFPB says consumers should be aware of potential risks with virtual currencies such as unclear costs, volatile exchange rates, the Continue Reading
- Some Californians’ Prepaid Cards Getting New Legal Protections
Is it a sign of good things to come from the CFPB? Some California consumers receiving child support deposited to prepaid cards are getting new protections thanks to a bill recently signed by California Governor Jerry Brown. For some consumers, a California state agency collects child support then directs it to the recipient’s account. AB Continue Reading
- Let the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Continue To Do Its Job
(Cross-posted from Consumer Reports Online in an article by Stephen Saltzman) On July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will mark its fourth anniversary. The consumer financial watchdog, created by Congress in the wake of the financial crisis caused by shady mortgage lenders and Wall Street abuses, has done a lot for consumers in just Continue Reading
- CFPB Says It’s Going to Watch Out for Consumers’ Digital Assets
The Wild West of decentralized crypto – also known as digital or virtual – currencies may be getting a sheriff. As first reported by Bloomberg’s Carter Dougherty, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has committed to looking into the consumer protection issues around these protocols. U.S. lawmakers, government agencies and law enforcement have all taken Continue Reading
- Suze Orman’s Prepaid Card Is Going Away July 1, 2014
What Cardholders Should Do Now Launched to great, um, fanfare, not more than 36 months ago, Suze Orman’s prepaid card, the Approved Card, is closing up shop. While the personal finance guru has been silent about this development, cardholders report receiving letters that say that the Approved Card will no longer work after July 1, Continue Reading
- Not Again?! P.F. Chang’s Announces Security Breach
If you ate at the restaurant, here’s our advice Fast-casual chain restaurant P.F. Chang’s confirmed today that customers’ payment card information may have been stolen when the company fell victim to a data breach. Until P.F. Chang’s can be sure its computers are safe, visitors to P.F. Chang’s’ restaurants will see old-school manual payment card Continue Reading
- Data Breaches Driving You Crazy? California DMV gives consumers new reason to worry.
Uh, oh. It’s happened again: another data breach. Consumers who used the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) online credit card payment system may find their credit card information is at risk. The California DMV’s Public Information Officer, Armando Botello, says that the DMV was “alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue Continue Reading
- A Selfie for Your Checks? What You Should Know about Remote Deposit Capture
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Too busy to go to the bank? Hate waiting in lines? I sure do. That’s why I tried Mobile Remote Deposit Capture (mRDC), which is basically like taking a selfie of all of your checks to be deposited straight to your bank account or prepaid card. Awesome, right? Even the Continue Reading
- THINK GLOBAL, SPEND LOCAL: CITIES OFFERING NEW FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
Thanks to J.B. Wogan over at Governing magazine, we’ve heard about a new product: a municipal gift card. According to Mr. Wogan’s story, New Haven, Connecticut, is launching the “New Haven Shop-Dine-Park” gift card. Gift cards are different from the city-backed prepaid cards we’ve written about here. With the exception of gift cards for time at Continue Reading
- Scammy Spammy Text Messages Getting You Down?
By special guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Text message scams are crafted to get people to tell scam artists their personal information. To do so, they tempt you with offers and enticing rewards, but don’t be fooled by the promise of money and free vacations. Spam can slow your cell phone connection, add charges to your Continue Reading