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Should Federal Regulations Extend to Prepaid Cards?

According to the CFPB, over 7 million consumers now use general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards, a segment of prepaid cards. Certain federal regulations that protect consumers do not apply to prepaid cards but the CFPB is questioning whether that should continue. The CFPB has started the initial planning stages of regulating GPR cards. The CFPB intends to extend federal consumer protections, specifically Regulation E, to these cards.

To start the process of regulating GPR prepaid cards the CFPB recently issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting input on how to ensure that consumers’ funds on prepaid cards are safe and that fees and the terms of the cards are easily understood. Comments are due to the CFPB by July 22, 2012. The CFPB plans to evaluate several topics:

  • Fees and Terms Disclosure
  • Unauthorized Transactions
  • Product Features
  • Other Information on GPR Cards

If you are reading this blog and realize you have no idea how prepaid cards operate or just want to brush up on the basics, check out the CFPB’s newly launched “Ask CFPB” concerning prepaid cards. And don’t forget to add prepaid cards to your ever growing list of regulations coming our way!

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