Senators Introduce Prepaid Card Bills

Posted on January 12th, 2014 in Banking, Consumer Finance, Federal Issues By BuckleySandler

On January 9, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), released the Prepaid Card Disclosure Act of 2014. The bill would amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to require any person that offers certain prepaid card accounts to offer with any application a table of fees that (i) can be “easily understood”; (ii) is “clearly and conspicuously” displayed; and (iii) includes, at a minimum, the amount and description of each fee that may be charged in connection with the account. In addition, a toll-free number and website at which the consumer can access the fee disclosure would have to be included on the card or other means of account access. The bill would require the CFPB to establish by rulemaking a format for the fee table and would allow the CFPB to require the placement of a QR code or similar technology on any packaging, card, or other object associated with the account to provide an electronic link to the disclosures. The bill follows the December 2013 introduction of the Prepaid Card Consumer Protection Act, sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill includes disclosure requirements similar to the Warner bill, plus a “wallet sized” fee disclosure requirement. In addition, Senator Menendez’s bill would, among other things, prohibit numerous fees and most credit features, and would require that financial institutions and account providers close accounts and refund the balance after 12 months of inactivity or other term of inactivity established by the CFPB, and upon request of the consumer.

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