Visa Clear Sets Standards for Consumer-Friendly Prepaid Cards

May 13, 2015, Written By Natalie Rutledge

Visa has created a new program is designed to eliminate the confusing, and often costly, fees associated with most prepaid debit cards. Known as the Visa Clear Prepaid Program, this system creates a stringent set of standards that prepaid cards must meet in order to be worthy of the Visa Clear stamp of approval.

To be part of the Visa Clear Prepaid Program, a card must offer a “simple monthly plan,” which includes:

  • Fee plans that cover all transactions under a single monthly plan or fee plans that only charge when you make a purchase over a “clearly disclosed limit on purchase transaction fees” (for less frequent prepaid card users)
  • No declined transaction fees
  • No cashback fees at the register
  • No customer service fees
  • No in-network ATM fees for withdrawals or balance inquiries
  • No closing fees

All cards eligible for the Clear program will be backed by Visa Zero Liability protection, as well as deposit or share insurance. These cards will not allow overdrafts, which prevents users from spending more money than they have in their account. Prepaid cards that allow overdrafts typically charge large fees for overspending, and they may be tied to a bank account for backup funding.

So far, there is only a handful of cards available in the Visa Clear Prepaid Program, including the Prepaid Visa RushCard, the Green Dot Prepaid Reloadable Visa Card, the PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card, and the Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card. As more users start looking for the Visa Clear sign of approval, other prepaid card providers may end up adjusting their fees to meet Visa Clear’s new standards.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 13, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at [email protected]
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