Cynthia LawsonThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a new rule designed to help protect users of prepaid card users and account holders.

Prepaid Cards and Accounts

Prepaid accounts are one of the newer ways to store and spend your money. These include prepaid cards that you buy in stores or digital wallet accounts that you get online. With most prepaid accounts, you can spend the money you’ve loaded in advance for daily expenses or withdraw cash from an ATM. You can also have your income directly deposited into most types of prepaid accounts.

New Rule for Displaying Prepaid Fee Information

Not all prepaid accounts are the same. Each account has its own set of features, functions, and fees. To decide which prepaid account is right for you, it’s important to learn about your choices and compare the fees that will apply depending on how you use the account. Right now, it can be hard to compare accounts because each card displays fee information differently.  However, the CFPB’s new rule is designed to help consumers get clear, upfront information about these fees so you can know before you owe and shop for the best deal. These comprehensive consumer protections included in the new rule took effect on Oct. 1, 2017.

The rule will also make sure prepaid accounts are safer to use — whether you’re swiping at the register, shopping online, or scanning your smartphone.

New Protections for Consumers

Right now, if someone accesses your prepaid account and steals your money, your protections depend on the type of account you have and your cardholder agreement. Under our new rule, your money will generally be protected if your card is lost, stolen, or your account is wrongly charged. You’ll also be able to easily monitor your account for free.

If you’re a current prepaid card user, the CFPB has some very useful information and tips. You may have the right to choose how your employer pays you if offered a payroll card, or to choose how you get payments for some government benefits.

Learn more about your options and rights with prepaid accounts from the CFPB’s website by clicking here.

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