Defend Your Dollars: Share this site! We support reforms to the financial marketplace to curb bad practices by banks and lenders.


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.


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Blog Posts

  • Best Prepaid Cards Are Versatile, Safe, Transparent & Reasonable

    A prepaid card is a plastic card that you “load” with money. Prepaid cards are available online, in stories and even from banks. Some prepaid cards can be expensive to use and not all prepaid cards have the same functionality. To help sort things out, we’ve rated prepaid cards for Value, Convenience, Safety and Fee Transparency. The overall best Continue Reading

  • Payroll Card Tips

    There has been a lot of news regarding payroll cards lately.  So, I’ve decided to provide some tips and questions for payroll cardholders: 1. Can you avoid fees? Figure out if there are ways to avoid fees for all the ways you would use a payroll card.  Visits to ATMs, buying things at stores or Continue Reading

  • Mobile Payments: The New Reality?

    by guest blogger Tara Thwin-Paljor   244.2 million people are projected to use mobile pay this year, according to Gartner, up from 200.8 million in 2012. It seems that more and more consumers see the appeal of using their phone to pay for a range of services. If you’ve been keeping up-to-date on mobile payments news, you’ll Continue Reading

  • City Of Oakland Takes A Step In Right Direction

     The City of Oakland is one of the first municipalities in the country to issue a combination identification card with a prepaid card feature and unfortunately did so without any input from consumer advocates.  As a result, the card had many anti-consumer features and was loaded with fees.  At first, the City of Oakland resisted Continue Reading

  • Oakland City ID Cards – Great Idea, Bad Fees

    In an effort to provide Oaklandites with city identification cards, officials fell short with respect to the prepaid aspect of the card.  Unfortunately, the fees associated with the card come fast and often. The SF Chronicle did a great investigative piece that cited CU’s Michelle Jun analysis. The organization, which has examined a variety of prepaid cards for several Continue Reading

  • Would You Send Money Overseas with Facebook?

    In its quest for world domination (or something like it), Facebook recently announced yet another new service – this time they are partnering with Azimo, a UK-based startup company, to provide international money transfers. Facebook users will now be able to transfer money directly to friends almost anywhere in the world via a new online Continue Reading

  • 2013: a pivotal year for mobile payments?

    Forrester Research has projected that by 2017, mobile payments in the US will reach $90 billion.  And in looking at the near future, one of their analyst’s blog states; “Mobile payment and digital wallet providers face significant hurdles to achieving adoption at scale, and 2013 will be a pivotal year in that quest.” There has Continue Reading

  • 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. Most gift cards have limits on expiration dates and fees provided Continue Reading

  • CU Comment on CFPB Determination of Effect of Maine and Tennessee Unclaimed Property Laws

    Consumers Union filed comments to the CFPB regarding the agency’s determination on the effect of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation gift card provisions as they relate to Maine and Tennessee’s Unclaimed Property Laws.

  • CFPB Releases Guide to New Rules on International Money Transfers

    This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a guide for small businesses on its remittance rule, which will protect consumers who send money electronically to foreign countries starting February 2013.  The guide explains the key provisions of the rule and highlights important issues businesses should consider as they put the new rule into practice. Under the new Continue Reading

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