WASHINGTON - Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced legislation Thursday that would require banks to provide greater transparency around prepaid card fees.
The Prepaid Card Disclosure Act of 2014 would mandate that issuers provide consumers with a basic fee table listing possible charges before they purchase the card and that they clearly display a toll-free number and website on the card itself where consumers can access additional fee information. The legislation comes as banks continue to increase their presence in the prepaid market, despite indications that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could step up its oversight later this year.
"At nearly $700 billion in sales each year, prepaid cards are one of the fastest growing parts of the financial industry," Warner said in a press release. "However, these cards aren't subject to the same kinds of consumer protections as other types of credit cards and gift cards. It's important that young people and people without credit history or access to traditional banking tools have access to prepaid cards, but we can't let the technology outpace smart consumer protections."