Prepaid Cards Research Project

Prepaid Cards Research Project

 
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Research

Through objective research and analysis, Pew’s Prepaid Cards Research Project seeks to answer questions such as: What is the size of the market for general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards?  What is the current federal regulatory authority and where are gaps in this authority?  What are consumer expectations and perceptions of prepaid cards? Are there policies that should be enacted to ensure the safety of this product?
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RESEARCH from the Project

  • February 26, 2014

    The Need for Improved Disclosures for General Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Cards

    In an effort to improve prepaid card disclosures, The Pew Charitable Trusts developed a model summary disclosure box that provides information on the key fees, terms, and conditions of the cards in a concise, easy-to-read manner. Pew developed this box to help consumers compare the terms and conditions among prepaid products, and between those products and checking accounts. more

  • February 6, 2014

    Consumers Continue to Load Up on Prepaid Cards

    “Consumers Continue to Load Up on Prepaid Cards,” updates the 2012 report, “Loaded with Uncertainty,”
    examining disclosures and fee structures of 66 GPR prepaid cards, looking at new trends in the marketplace
    since our last report, and detailing what services and protections are afforded consumers who use these cards.
    This series starts with the research conducted in 2012. Based on the volume of funds loaded onto the cards, the
    prepaid cards studied initially made up more than 75 percent of the total market. more

  • February 6, 2014

    Why Americans Use Prepaid Cards

    This report presents findings from a first-of-its-kind, nationally representative telephone survey of adults who use general purpose reloadable prepaid cards at least once per month. The survey finds that most customers’ primary motivation for using prepaid cards is to gain control over their finances, including avoiding credit card debt and overdrafts. Among those who have had a checking account, 2 in 5 have closed or lost an account because of overdraft fees. more

  • February 6, 2014
    What is a GPR Prepaid Card?

    What is a GPR Prepaid Card?

    The term “prepaid card” encompasses a wide range of long-standing or familiar products, from flexible spending accounts and gift cards to payroll and government benefits cards, but general purpose reloadable prepaid cards are a relatively new financial product. more

  • April 3, 2013
    Infographic: Risky Refunds

    Infographic: Risky Refunds

    What are the risks when consumers receive their tax refund on a prepaid card? The use of general purpose reloadable prepaid cards has grown 249 percent since 2010, and Americans are expected to load over $100 billion on them this year, according to the Mercator Advisory Group.    more

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