Community Dividend

CFSI releases guide to prepaid cards

Published January 1, 2011  | January 2011 issue

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) has released a guide to help nonprofit organizations incorporate prepaid cards into their program offerings. Reloadable prepaid cards, which function like electronic bank accounts but have no checks or overdrafts, can be a convenient, cost-effective money-management option for unbanked and underbanked consumers, provided that appropriate protections are in place for card users.

The Nonprofit's Guide to Prepaid Cards, which was published with the support of the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association, NetSpend Corporation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is designed for nonprofit organizations that work on consumer finance issues and are interested in engaging with prepaid cards. The guide describes several levels of engagement, ranging from educating consumers about prepaid cards to becoming card distributors and service providers, and lists strategic considerations and success tips for each level. The guide's appendices outline legal and regulatory issues related to prepaid cards and offer tips for selecting a prepaid card vendor.

CFSI offers a prerecorded webinar as a companion to the publication. To view the webinar and download the guide, visit