The term prepaid card refers to a range of card products that provide electronic access to money. Prepaid cards are a type of debit card not associated with a checking account.
How can you benefit from a prepaid card? Here are a few ways:
- For college students: Parents can easily load the cards with a predetermined sum, allowing students to pay for books, food, and other expenses. Add extra money to the account is also easy - parents can do this through their local bank.
- For anyone looking for convenience with security: Prepaid cards are convenient and secure - no need to carry large sums of cash.
- For those wanting a built-in budget monitor: Since prepaid cards usually do not allow spending more than the amount already loaded onto the card, the ability to monitor expenditures and avoid account overdrafts or excessive debt is essentially built in.
- For employers: Prepaid cards let employers eliminate the expense of paper checks and allow their employees without bank accounts to enjoy the features of direct deposit.
Key Features of Prepaid Cards
Readily available - accounts can usually be opened without credit approval, though identity may have to be verified.
Cash substitute - reduces the need to carry cash.
Usable for online shopping or bill-pay and other personal finance management tools.
Depending on the card, may be used for getting cash at ATMs.
May offer online banking services such as bill-pay and other personal finance management tools.
Mobile access - consumers can access online banking features on the go through mobile Web sites or downloadable apps.