Comments on: Prepaid debit-card datapoints of the day http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Eericsonjr http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42581 Sat, 11 Aug 2012 16:30:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42581 Felix: Look again.

Prepaid cards are mostly used as small gifts. They get one-offed by kids (or adults) taking the cash put on them . . .off.

But another major use for them is money laundering. Prison gangs use them a lot and drug gangs have reportedly used them to transport cash–as they are less bulky than the cash they hold. Sen. Lieberman got his undies in a bunch about this a couple years ago, but the card industry pushed back. [ http://citypaper.com/news/seeing-green-1 .939205] Don’t know how it settled.

However it settled, the proliferation of these in “poor areas” likely reflects both the usual corporate blood-sucking AND the popularity of these things in the shadow economy.

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By: upstater http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42547 Fri, 10 Aug 2012 13:57:16 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42547 Like all cards, another way for the vampire squids of the world to suck blood. Fees of $4.88-10.72 per month are still a rip off from poor people. Or rich people.

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By: fresnodan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42543 Fri, 10 Aug 2012 10:43:34 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42543 What I don’t understand about these prepaid debit cards – what if you lose them? I understand you can cancel them, but I can’t find anything that addresses (fraudulent) purchases that occur prior to the cancellation.
That seems to me a significant loss, and there is no way I would want to walk around with what is essentially hundreds of dollars in my pocket.

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By: ottorock http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42529 Thu, 09 Aug 2012 22:53:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42529 thank you realist50

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42527 Thu, 09 Aug 2012 21:48:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42527 @ottorock – these cards look similar to a “box standard” debit/ATM card from a bank but generally have the name of a prepaid card provider where a bank’s name would otherwise be. So, yes, someone looking closely at the card can tell the difference. The links below to a couple prepaid card providers include pictures of their cards.

https://www.greendot.com/greendot/getaca rdnow
https://www.netspend.com/#

My educated guess is that the ease of paying bills with a bank account is a big factor in why people transition from a prepaid card to a bank account. A prepaid card is useful for shopping and ATM withdrawals, though not necessarily cheaper than a basic checking account, as Felix points out. With a basic checking account, however, I can also use checks or online banking to make payments such as rent and utility bills that either don’t take plastic or charge the customer a fee to pay with plastic.

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By: ottorock http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/08/09/prepaid-debit-card-datapoints-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-42525 Thu, 09 Aug 2012 19:50:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17011#comment-42525 A question, Salmon: Do these cards look particularly different to your actual box standard plastic (i honestly don’t know, wrong country y’see)? Is there a status factor in the move to a checking account from pre-paid card, as people feel they get judged for owning ‘poor people’s plastic’ and want to own an a/c (+card) with without a potential stigma problem?

So ok, that was two questions…

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