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
- 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
- New CU Article: How to Make Every Way to Pay Safe for Mobile Payments
Read a draft of our new article discussing the mobile payments market, the major risks it poses for consumers, and the few simple fixes that would ensure all consumers making mobile payments have guaranteed consumer protections.
- 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
- 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
- Chomping at the Bitcoin? What You Should Know
Earlier this month, 6% of all bitcoins in the world were stolen. If a similar theft occurred involving 6% of all US currency in circulation, that would be a heist of $75 billion dollars. What is bitcoin? It’s money. Bitcoin is often referred to as a virtual currency. In other words, digital money. At its Continue Reading
- Why The CFPB Is The Best Thing To Happen To Americans Since J.Law
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty awesome, right? For several years now she’s excelled at playing characters that excite the American imagination- they’re young, vibrant, and struggle against difficult odds or crafty opponents. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is also young, rather vibrant, and also goes to battle with powerful forces but, despite all this, the Continue Reading
- Worried About the Target Breach? The CFPB Has Some Tips
As the fallout from the Target data breach continues (along with Neiman Marcus and Michael’s), many consumers are wondering what, if anything, they can do to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a “consumer advisory” with basic tips on how to keep your information safe. So Continue Reading
- Transaction Monitoring and Credit Monitoring in Light of the Target Breach
Target has begun to offer security breach victims free credit monitoring for a year now that approximately 110 million Americans may have had their data compromised due to a security breach. We’ve advised consumers to conduct regular transaction monitoring to prevent fraud, and now some consumers have been asking us, “What’s the difference between transaction Continue Reading
- Scam Bam, No Thank You Ma’am: How to Avoid Being Scammed after the Target Security Breach
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins In the wake of the Target security breach, there are a number of scams that are popping up. These scams try to gather consumer’s personal and credit information. This is adding to insult to injury, as we also just found out that the initial 40 million Target customers affected by Continue Reading
- Gift Cards: Tips for Givers and Receivers
American consumers are set to spend nearly $30 billion on gift cards this year, with eight out of ten consumers planning to give a gift card this holiday season, according to a recent report by the National Retail Federation. Gift cards have some protections, but gaps can catch consumers unaware. Here’s a brief summary of Continue Reading