Take action to reform prepaid cards

Consumers are increasingly using prepaid cards as an alternative to cash or checking accounts, but the market remains widely unregulated. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released proposed rules to protect consumers from harmful prepaid cards.

We believe the proposed rules are a good start and commend the CFPB for their work. There are ways to make the rules even stronger, but the CFPB needs to hear from advocates for that to happen. Comments are due on March 23, and we urge you to take action now by:

  • Submitting your own letter. Please reference this one-page summary of the major issues, such as banning overdraft products from prepaid cards and requiring FDIC insurance for all prepaid cards, as you write your letter. Alternatively, you can modify and submit a version of this sample letter from the National Consumer Law Center.
  • Signing on to a national letter. Woodstock Institute supports Americans for Financial Reform’s national sign-on letter. You can sign on by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.
  • Submitting complaints and stories about prepaid cards to the CFPB. If you or a client has encountered problems with prepaid cards, such as deceptive marketing or exorbitant fees, let the CFPB know by filing a complaint. These complaints help consumers get their issues resolved, alert the CFPB to emerging problems, and inform their rulemaking. You can submit complaints online. If you speak a language other than English, call (855) 411-2372.

For more information, contact Courtney Eccles at ceccles@woodstockinst.org or 312-368-0310. We are happy to answer any questions or assist you in putting together your own comment.

Thank you for your work to protect consumers who use prepaid cards