With new government regulations coming, I thought it was time to provide an update on this fast growing financial product which is fast becoming a substitute for checking accounts (I provided a prepaid debit card primer in August). So, what’s new?
- Consumer Reports ranks the best prepaid debit cards based on the following factors: value, convenience, safety and transparency of fee disclosure. The winner: Bluebird Card from American Express and Wal-Mart:
“Topping the list is the Bluebird card (by American Express and Walmart), which comes without a monthly fee, no inactivity fees or fees for calling customer service, along with a bill paying feature and no-overdraft paper checks. “
- The CFPB is expected to keep a closer eye on the industry (WSJ). What are they focusing on?
U.S. officials plan to unveil this week a comprehensive slate of consumer protections for prepaid debit cards, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could further broaden the customer base for the fast-growing product.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rules, expected Thursday, will include standards for how prepaid-card companies disclose fees and make it harder for borrowers to spend more money than they have loaded onto the card, the people said.
- Here’s a chart showing the dramatic growth in the industry:
Check out the NGPF lesson on Picking a Payment Method.