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College campuses flooded with prepaid cards

Sep 03, 2012 Sean Albert

Post-recession legislation has been highly focused on protecting the consumer from financial services providers, such as credit card companies and other entities in similar industries. Because of the massive overhaul of regulations regarding credit card best practices, many demographics have increasingly chosen alternative forms of credit to do their shopping. The Wall Street Journal reports that college campuses have seen a major influx of prepaid card usage in recent months, marked by both parents and students viewing the popular form of credit as a safer option than traditional credit cards. The news provider notes that these cards hold both money loaded by parents and funds from financial aid. One advocate told the WSJ that prepaid cards are sometimes the fastest way to access money disbursed through financial aid. As a result of this shift, merchants and credit card companies have increased efforts to roll out new offerings, riding the wave to improve profits and remain competitive. Prepaid cards have also proven to successfully reach younger generations, as well as the underbanked, as they aren't viewed as traditional lines of credit. Through deployment of such products, the now declining population of underbanked individuals in the U.S. have become easier to market to and do business with.