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CFPB Launches New Research Pilot: How Can Prepaid Card Users Save More Money?

December 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Prepaid Cards

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

CFPB Launches New Research Pilot: How Can Prepaid Card Users Save More Money?Instead of using traditional savings accounts, many low- to moderate-income Americans rely on checking accounts and prepaid cards. Clearly, these are not the best vehicles for building savings, thus the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new research pilot aimed at helping prepaid card users save more money.

About Project Catalyst Research Pilot on Consumer Saving

“Developing saving habits can help people reach their short-term and long-term financial goals,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

“This project can help us better understand how to promote saving among consumers, especially those who may be low-income and economically vulnerable.”

Fortunately, the CFPB need not start from scratch.

American Express has agreed to share with the CFPB information gathered through its own development, promotion, and administration of its savings “wallet” – a feature aimed at helping prepaid card users save more money.

As the name suggests, the American Express savings wallet feature allows prepaid card users to designate a portion of their prepaid funds as “savings” (i.e., not available for spending).

(The CFPB notes that the provision of the American Express data will exclude personally-identifying information.)

CFPB No Stranger to Prepaid Card Market

As an agency tasked with protecting consumers of financial products and services, the CFPB already oversees the prepaid card market.

For instance, just last month, the CFPB asked for public comment on its newly-designed prepaid card disclosure forms. Their aim? To make comparison shopping easier for consumers by requiring all prepaid card issuers to use the same standard disclosure forms.

Now the CFPB wants to take its attention to prepaid card users one step further – not only helping consumers save money on prepaid card fees, but helping them save money across the board.

Of course, this is not the CFPB’s first Project Catalyst research pilot aimed at helping consumers save more money. In October, the CFPB announced the launch of its research pilot on encouraging Americans to save their tax refunds.

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