Sunday, March 8, 2009

NBPCA White Paper: State Escheat Laws Need to Evolve for Prepaid

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association is releasing a white paper during the Prepaid Card Expo. The paper, developed by leading attorneys working in the prepaid field, describes current abandoned property laws as they relate to prepaid cards. Abandoned Property Laws and Network Branded Prepaid Cards: Questions and Concerns Raised When Trying to Fit Cards into the Existing Abandoned Property Legal Framework explores the history of escheat law and how changes over time and variations from state to state can present significant challenges for prepaid businesses. The paper does not take a position on the application of escheat laws to funds underlying prepaid cards, but suggests that states should explore how to bring their positions into line with current payment products. “Difficulties arise when regulators try to apply existing abandoned properties laws to new products or services. If escheat must apply to prepaid cards, then certainly state legislatures should develop new state laws that specifically address prepaid products in the marketplace—giving special attention to those cards that are essential to consumers’ day-to-day lives—rather trying to shoehorn new prepaid products under existing laws,” the white paper says. The NBPCA’s workshop, “The Prepaid Card Industry’s Take on State Abandoned Property Laws,” will feature attorneys and compliance officers sharing their expertise on abandoned property issues. The white paper is available on and

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