CFPB Releases Revised Prepaid Card Rules
The CFPB is seeking comment on its revised proposed prepaid card rules—regulations that the agency withdrew earlier this year amid an outcry from financial institutions.
“We know that effective implementation helps our rules deliver their intended value to consumers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s request for comment shows we are listening closely to feedback on our rules to decide whether certain adjustments will help to achieve that goal.”
Those wishing to comment will have a deadline of 45 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.
The final prepaid rules were issued last year. They would require financial institutions issuing prepaid cards to give consumers upfront information about fees and other details, limit consumer losses when cards are lost or stolen, investigate potential errors and provide other consumer protections.
At the time, credit union groups argued that the rules were too broad.
The rules were scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, but the CFPB decided to delay the effective date until April 1, 2018. The delay, the agency said, would give industry participants more time to implement required changes and give the CFPB time to determine if it should change any provisions.
Congressional Republicans had considered killing the rules using the Congressional Review Act, but ultimately decided not to consider the legislation, saying that the CFPB had made certain concessions that made the rulesmore palatable.
In the revised proposed rules, the CFPB said that is soliciting comments to changes dealing with error resolution on unregistered prepaid accounts. Under the agency’s proposal, consumers would need to register their accounts to receive full fraud and error protection benefits. The plan would require companies to provide the protection to registered accounts even if the theft or dispute occurred before registration was successfully completed.
The agency also proposed changes affecting digital wallets. Some digital wallets also are prepaid accounts because consumers can use them to store and access funds directly, the agency said. The proposal would ensure that consumers would be able to receive full protection under the CARD Act on their credit cards while making it easier for them to link those accounts to their digital wallet prepaid accounts.
CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said the association is reviewing the changes. He added that the CFPB should reconsider whether Truth in Lending Act requirements should apply to overdraft services on prepaid accounts. That requirements would “have the unintended consequence of reducing consumer choice and making this product more difficult to offer,” he said.