Payroll card providers have it a little tougher than many other prepaid card companies. In addition to making sure their programs comply with federal laws and regulation, they also need to fit their programs into a mélange of state laws that govern how workers receive their wages.
For years prepaid cards, and their holders, have been seen as second-class citizens by regulators, consumer advocates, and credit agencies. Despite competitive fee structures and feature sets, open-loop prepaid cards have been viewed as the account you get when you have no options.
Last week I was very fortunate to attend the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) in the United Kingdom. I was invited by Craig James, PIFs Chairman, and his colleague Diane Brocklebank, PIF’s Commercial Director. Craig is the Founder and CEO of Neopay and is an NBPCA Board Member.
The problem with eliminating a payment choice has been brought into focus by a recent bill in Washington, D.C. to make it illegal to refuse cash. As The Washington Postreported, several restaurants have eliminated cash as an option, but some lawmakers in the district worry that the poor, especially those who cannot get bank accounts, will lose access to parts of the market.
In the past year or so, the prepaid community has expanded through new products, perks, and partnerships. PayPal and Mastercard rolled out a prepaid card which links to a user’s PayPal balance; Green Dot, Apple, and Discover are launching a virtual prepaid card; and, most recently announced, Starbucks, Visa, and Chase are creating a prepaid card linked to Starbucks rewards.
The prepaid industry continued to learn how it can move ahead on the final day of the Power of Prepaid conference.