The popularity of prepaid cards has increased dramatically in recent years, as traditional banking costs and lingering distrust of large financial institutions have led folks to explore other options.
At the same time, financial institutions have emphasized prepaid offerings in the face of regulations that limit the profitability of checking accounts. Prepaid card deposits are expected to rise to $168.4 billion by 2015.
Some highlights from the report are as follows:
- The annual cost of prepaid card use ranges from nothing to more than $400, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right card for your needs.
- Consumers will find prepaid cards to be 21% more expensive in 2014 than in the previous year.
- Prepaid cards from large banks are up to 87% more affordable than those from smaller institutions.
- Celebrity-founded/endorsed cards are between 33% and 51% more expensive than non-branded prepaid cards.
- As many as 31% of available prepaid card offers lack the features (e.g., online bill pay, free check loading, etc.) needed to meet basic consumer needs.
- The average prepaid card charges 11 different fees.
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