In a letter to the CFPB on its upcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on GPR cards, Rep. David Scott (D-GA), joined by Reps. John Barrow (D-GA), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Greg Meeks (D-NY), urged the bureau to avoid regulating GPR cards to the point of stifling innovation or reducing access to features that meet consumers short term spending needs. The representatives highlighted the latter benefit of GPR cards as a key feature that significantly helps the 68 million unbanked and underbanked population by providing a bridge between paychecks. The letter called on the CFPB to require industry-wide protections already offered voluntarily by many providers. These protections include: opt-in overdraft protection, fee limits, cooling off periods, fee-free buffers and cure periods, real-time mobile balance alerts and free access to account information. The letter also cited recent studies that found nearly 30 percent of payment customers want to have overdraft protection available to them. Finally, the letter said payment products should not be viewed as second tier financial products, but should have parity with identically situated traditional checking accounts.
Congressional support for the payment industry, and the benefits of payment cards, has always been valued, but even more so now as we await the CFPB’s NPRM.
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