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Reloadable prepaid payment cards may soon have the same safeguards against fraud, hidden fees and losses that currently protect debit card users from abuses.
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced it will begin accepting public comments on potential new consumer protections for reloadable prepaid cards. It's the first step in drafting federal rules to regulate the increasingly popular cards, which allow users to load funds onto them and make online and in-store purchases just as they would with a debit card or credit card. When available funds are depleted, the cards can be reloaded again.
Consumer groups have long warned that prepaid cards are chock-full of fees and carry no mandatory protections if cards are lost, stolen or used by unauthorized parties. To make matters worse, many celebrities -- the Kardashian sisters and money adviser Suze Orman, most recently -- have lent their names to prepaid cards to lure potential buyers only to draw fire from consumer advocates.
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