WASHINGTON JPMorgan Chase is the first bank to adopt a new, standardized disclosure box for its prepaid cards that was developed by Pew Charitable Trusts.
The effort follows legislation introduced last month by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., that would require banks to more clearly detail their prepaid card fees to consumers. Similar disclosures for credit cards are already mandated by law, and Pew has developed a similar form for checking accounts.
"It's important that people have access to prepaid cards as we move into an increasingly digital economy, but consumers deserve basic protections," Warner said in a press release. "I commend Pew for their work on this issue and Chase for being the first prepaid card provider to adopt the disclosure box for their cards, which I proposed making standard for the industry in my legislation."
The Pew disclosure box was released on Wednesday as part of a new study by the nonprofit that examines consumer concerns about unexpected prepaid card fees and the inability to compare fees of competing cards side-by-side. Pew developed the disclosure form after working with focus groups in Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., and Austin, Texas, talking to consumers with checking accounts and those without. The box includes a list of fee types and descriptions, along with the amount of each fee.
"The disclosures for most prepaid cards are inconsistent and unclear," said Susan Weinstock, director of Pew's safe checking research, in a press release. "Terms should be plainly stated so that consumers can choose the product that best meets their needs."
The group has worked with more than two dozen banks and credit unions, including JPMorgan Chase, on its related table for checking accounts fees, and the bank is now the first to start using the prepaid disclosure box as well.
"Chase Liquid was built on the premise of being simple and easy to understand, so the Pew disclosure form is perfectly aligned with this product," said Barry Sommers, chief executive of Chase Consumer Bank, in a press release.