News & Resources

Rising costs of checking, increasing prevalence of prepaid cards

Oct 09, 2012 Sean Albert

The banking industry has undergone substantial changes over the past few years, as the economic landscape has been in perpetual flux. Additionally, the preferences of consumers when it comes to financial institution transactions have also changed greatly, especially since the advent of mobile and online banking technology. American Banker recently reported that several large banks in the United States have recently started raising the price for checking accounts. This could spell bad news for the population of underbanked households in the nation, though there are other avenues financial institutions are taking to offset these problems. Be it because of the Durbin Amendment or otherwise, banks have had to raise the prices of several types of products, such as checking and savings accounts, American Banker noted. However, the news provider explained that several major banks and smaller institutions are rolling out prepaid card offerings in higher numbers, as the products are not regulated by the Durbin Amendment. Prepaid cards have been shown to more effectively reach the unbanked and underbanked populations in the United States. While they do not come with the same sort of add-ons and history-building facets that checking and savings accounts do, prepaid cards, as well as mobile and online banking services, are believed to be a solution to the unbanked population.