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Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards are the newest plastic payment cards. They look like debit cards with a logo from a major card network. Consumers are likely to purchase these cards for a fee, and often pay additional fees to use the prepaid funds loaded onto the card to make purchases or pay bills. These cards function much like a debit card linked to a bank account, but do not have the same guaranteed consumer protections. Gift cards issued by a retailer have different laws. Click here to learn more.

Publications

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Blog Posts

  • Richmond’s Prepaid Card: Consumers May Do Better Elsewhere

    Last week, the city of Richmond, California, launched an identification card that comes with an optional prepaid card feature. It’s run by the same company behind the Oakland City ID-prepaid card hybrid that launched last year. We were critical of the original Oakland ID-prepaid card because the prepaid card was loaded with fees, making it Continue Reading

  • No Overdraft Checking Account Coming To Walmart

    Green Dot’s mobile bank account, GoBank, will soon be available at Walmart stores. We think this is good news for consumers, as GoBank offers transparent, low-fee, no-overdraft, fully-federally protected checking accounts. Recently a number of banks, including Bank of America, Key Bank and Citi, have begun to offer low-fee, no overdraft accounts. As with GoBank, Continue Reading

  • Banks Fight Claims They Have “Secretive” Contracts with College Campuses

    Are you or someone you know preparing to go to college?  If so, you many find banks and other financial firms offering you student accounts for getting your financial aid or managing your money.   That’s because more and more colleges are entering into agreements with these firms to sell products to students on campus. 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

  • Prepaid Card or Pawn Complaint? The CFPB Is Ready to Help

    Since it began accepting consumer complaints in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers resolve issues with loans, bank accounts, and other financial products. Now, it’s ready to help consumers with prepaid cards and non-bank financial products, such as pawn and car title loans, and credit repair 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

  • 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

  • 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

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