Visa® Aims to Make Prepaid Cards Safer and Consumer-Friendly

Friday, June 20th, 2014
Updated: June 20th, 2014
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Recent data breaches have made consumers think twice before using credit and debit cards. In particular, prepaid cards have created some confusion because many people do not clearly understand whether they are offered the same fraud protections as credit or debit cards. Moreover, it is often hard to figure out which prepaid card is best for you.

More people are turning to prepaid cards as a way to manage money, but these cards should be more consumer-friendly. Prepaid cards often come with a host of fees, rules and restrictions that can be difficult to comprehend and compare.

To make it easier for consumers to choose among prepaid cards, Visa designed a new set of standards. Issuers won’t be required to follow those standards though. However, those cards that meet the requirements will receive a Visa’s seal that will be visible on card packaging and materials.

New Visa standards for consumer reloadable prepaid cards are designed to simplify fees, improve consumer protections, and create opportunities for cardholders to improve their financial health. The standards were developed in conjunction with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The most important standards were designed for fees. Visa wants banks to set flat monthly fees that include everything that cardholders would generally want to do with a prepaid card. Specifically, Visa wants prepaid card issuers not to charge separate fees for declined transactions, general customer service, in-network ATM transactions, PIN or signature purchase transactions, and getting cash back at the point of sale.

In addition, Visa wants cards not to charge overdraft fees or provide overdraft coverage. From prepaid card issuers Visa wants to communicate their fee structures clearly and consumer-friendly, for example, using fee boxes and simple disclosures. A quick-use guide for consumers is recommended as a way to minimize the costs of using particular cards.

As for consumer protection, Visa included several important provisions. The first requires that balances be protected by insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or National Credit Union Administration, ensuring if a prepaid card issuer goes under, cardholders won’t lose unused balances.

Visa will also require cards to provide fraud protection. By running cards through Visa’s Zero Liability policy, cardholders should be entirely protected in many cases of fraud.

The goal of all these standards and designations is to make prepaid cards more consumer-friendly. Although Visa’s standards won’t be mandatory, it is believed that regulators like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might eventually use them as guidelines for future regulation.

Visa’s moves won’t make prepaid cards perfect, but it’ll be potentially easier for consumers to compare cards and get the best deal.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

Latest Prepaid & Debit Card News

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

At the beginning of May, Samsung announced its partnership with SoFi, an online personal finance company, aimed at the creation of a new bank product called Samsung Money by SoFi. And now the company revealed more details on the offer. First of all, it became known that Samsung Money will include two possible options: a […]

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Venmo, a PayPal’s subsidiary company, is expected to launch a new teen feature for its tap-to-pay debit card. Information about this appeared recently and has not yet been fully confirmed. A Venmo spokesperson’s comment was quite concise: “Venmo is constantly working to identify ways to refine and enhance the user experience. We frequently test product […]

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

The way people pay for things has changed over the past several years. Mobile payments, digital wallets, touchless credit cards, and online payments have all taken off, leaving that old-fashioned payment method, cash, in the dust.

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

When you’re booking a trip, how do you prefer to pay for it? If you said debit card or cash rather than credit card, you’re not alone.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

If opening up your mail brings a feeling of dread, because you don’t want to see how much you owe to which credit card companies, you’re not alone. Many Americans are struggling to get out of debt, and at the beginning of the year, credit counselor and financial planners often see a surge in the number of people seeking out their advice.

Best Credit Offer
Grow Credit Mastercard
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Horizon Card Services Group One Freedom Card
Copyright © 2001-2024 All Rights Reserved.

See the credit card's terms and conditions on the online application page. Note that this website may be compensated by credit card issuers when the visitor applies for a card through the links on this website. We do our best to maintain all information accurate and up to date. However, we do not warrant the credit card information won't change. Click the "Apply Online" button and review the current info on the secure credit card terms page.

Information in these articles is brought to you by Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Thank you for providing this information! We will make sure our letters are useful for You.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.