Card Hub releases report on prepaid cards showing rising consumer use

prepaid-debit-cards2Card Hub recently released its report on prepaid cards, finding that consumer are increasingly opting for alternative cash management tools like prepaid cards over traditional checking accounts.

Data from the CFPB showed the two largest prepaid card managers saw an increase from 3.4 million active cards in 2009 to more than seven million last year.

Mercator Advisory Group said the amount of money loaded onto prepaid cards nearly tripled between 2008 and 2012, rising to $76.7 billion, adding that the number could rise to $168.4 billion by 2015.

Additionally, the Card Hub report found that prepaid cards endorsed by celebrities make up a large portion of the market, and that big banks focused on traditional banking relationships have also increasingly joined the prepaid market.

The report also found that overall fees fell this year, and that prepaid cards have an average of 10 different fees, with some ranging up to $360 per year. Prepaid cards from big banks are up to 200 percent more affordable than cards from smaller institutions.

Card Hub also ranked the best and worst cards based on a number of categories, including alternative checking account, child’s allowance account, alternative check cashing tool, access to electronic transactions and total number of fees.

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