Prepaid Card Use Rises 18%

Consumers are using them rather than products like checking accounts, Javelin says.

Prepaid card use rose by about 18 percent in 2011 as consumers dropped traditional banking products such as checking accounts with higher fees, according to a study released today.

About 13 percent of U.S. adults had prepaid cards in 2011 compared with 11 percent in 2010, according to the study by Pleasanton, California-based Javelin Strategy & Research, a market-research firm.

Managing Risk

Some banks may offer prepaid cards to consumers who get rejected when applying for a checking account, Robertson said. BB&T Corp. and U.S. Bancorp offer prepaid cards directly to consumers. About 24 percent of prepaid owners have been offered cards by a bank, according to the study.

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