Why Consumers Choose Prepaid Cards


As more financial institutions (FIs) begin to offer prepaid card products, it’s important to know more about how, and why, customers are making the decision to add a prepaid card to their wallet. Not long ago, Pew Health Group’s Financial Security Portfolio conducted a series of focus groups with prepaid card consumers to better understand their motivation for choosing and using these cards.

Here are a few of Pew’s key findings on prepaid cards:

  • Most participants in the focus groups had a checking account and had incurred unanticipated fees on their account. They chose to get a prepaid card to avoid “hidden” fees.
  • Many participants were looking for tools or resources to help them create a budget and control their spending. Prepaid cards allow them to limit their spending and avoid incurring unwanted debt.
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