Visa elevates prepaid cards to new levels

Visa has announced a new designation for consumer reloadable prepaid products in the US, aimed at simplifying fees and improving consumer protections.

The designation was developed in conjunction with industry thought leaders the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Consumers have been confused by an often complex prepaid landscape,” said Ryan McInerney, president, Visa Inc. “As a prepaid leader, we felt it was important to go beyond current requirements in the marketplace and bring transparency to this growing product area. This Visa designation will signify a new level of simplicity, protection and opportunity, enabling cardholders to confidently manage their spending every day.”

“We applaud Visa’s efforts to raise the bar on quality in the prepaid industry by building on our Compass Principles,” said Jennifer Tescher, president & CEO of CFSI. “Their efforts are vital because millions of Americans are searching for tools to help them reduce financial friction, and prepaid cards can be a valuable option. We look forward to continuing to work with Visa to design and test new prepaid features and options that enable consumers to spend, save, borrow and plan effectively.”

“More Americans are turning to prepaid cards as a way to manage money, but Pew’s research shows that these cards should be made more consumer friendly,” said Susan Weinstock, who directs consumer banking research at The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Visa is taking an important step forward by acknowledging the importance of clear disclosures and consumer protections. It’s particularly encouraging that Visa is not allowing overdrafts on these cards, in light of our research on consumer prepaid card use.”

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