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� � � � � � �Subscribe to RTO MagazineE-mail Address : Manage Subscriptions� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �� Site Statistics�PollReport: Consumers' Views on Prepaid Cards04-16-09RTO Online - The rent to own industry's trade website Email this page to a friendRate:� Your email address Worthless HelpfulI have tears of joyBetter than War and Peace Add your Comments FactoidsBack to newsRelated articlesmost recent first Report: Consumers' Views on Prepaid Cards Mother's Day Consumer Spending Dips New Window Signage Product Introduced by TruckSkin Trivia; This Month in 1923 First US Shopping Mall Opens Listening to Customers; NRF Video Series Office Max Takes Best of the Best in Retail Advertising UK RTO Buy As You View Invests in Environment Rent-A-Center Aims to Double-Down on Brand Building Success Ric West Inducted Into Retail Advertising Hall of Fame Rent-A-Center Named in Top 50 Most Valuable U.S.

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�Download - A Tool for Getting by or Getting Ahead? Consumers� Views on Prepaid Cards.The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) today released a new report entitled: A Tool for Getting by or Getting Ahead? Consumers� Views on Prepaid Cards.Over the past decade, financial services companies have offered an increasing number of options to households who do not hold or regularly use conventional checking and savings accounts.

Some options come from mainstream banks and companies, while others come from "fringe" financial services such as check-cashing or payday loan services.

These "fringe" services have been criticized as profiting on unfortunate consumers without providing opportunities for them to build wealth through savings or access to credit.

Now, new "market bridging" products, such as general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards, are emerging to fill the need between conventional checking and savings accounts and nonaccount services.

Introduced in the early 1990s, reloadable prepaid cards are among the most popular of these products.

They function like electronic bank accounts without checks; consumers load funds on the card and can spend only what they load, limiting the risk of overdraft while providing immediate liquidity.

Transaction costs are low, and many providers are adding features, including bill payment with credit reporting, money transfer, savings wallets, and small-dollar lines of credit.

advertise hereTo learn how consumers use prepaid cards and whether the cards help financially underserved consumers manage their money and start down a path toward financial prosperity, CFSI selected two provider firms for study�AccountNow and NetSpend.

Both are leaders and innovators in the prepaid card industry.

AccountNow distributes cards primarily over the Internet, while NetSpend sells cards primarily through grocery and convenience stores and check-cashing outlets.

In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 prepaid card users in the Chicago and Seattle metro areas.

CFSI's findings give evidence about the potential of prepaid cards to enhance families' financial well-being.

The report presents new data about prepaid card users' day-to-day financial lives, including the nature and amount of income sources, family expenses, and use of different financial services.

Interviews show the roles that prepaid cards play in consumers' lives, including roles that may be symbolic (having access to this product or using this service) or instrumental (accomplishing something for the consumer).The research notes financial circumstances that lead consumers to prepaid cards and examines several benefits consumers cite as reasons for liking their cards such as: convenience, accessibility, immediate liquidity, simplicity and transparency, value, and built-in discipline.

The research also considers consumers' short- and long-term financial goals and their experiences with two enhanced prepaid card features�AccountNow's bill pay with credit reporting and NetSpend's associated savings account.

Prepaid cards are a helpful financial tool, and users appreciate their features.

Prepaid cards may also help consumers achieve short-term financial goals, such as paying off debt and accumulating emergency savings.

However, achieving longer-term financial goals will likely require more intensive and comprehensive services and products that extend beyond what prepaid cards currently offers.RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase, lease-purchase trade.

RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.

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http://rtoonline.com/Content/Article/apr09/consumers-views-on-prepaid-cards-041609.asp
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