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Washington
CUNA comments on CARD Act gift card rules
WASHINGTON (12/23/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a recent comment letter told the Federal Reserve Board that some exceptions to proposed rules that will implement the restrictions on fees and expirations dates for gift cards and similar products, as required under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), should apply in some instances. Specifically, CUNA stated that an exception that applies to reloadable cards that are not marketed as gifts “should apply if the issuer does not market the card in this manner, regardless of how the card may be characterized by others.” As for the requirement to provide an expiration date that is at least five years after issuance, the Board provides two alternatives for compliance and CUNA supports the alternative that would require policies and procedures to ensure consumers have an opportunity to purchase a card with an expiration date that is at least five years after purchase. CUNA also encouraged the Fed to alleviate some of the confusion caused by a misunderstanding of expiration date rules by informing consumers that the expiration date that is printed on their gift card may not “coincide with the expiration date of the underlying funds.” While CUNA generally supports disclosure information that helps consumers understand financial products, there is some concern that it will be difficult to place all of the needed disclosures in the spaces provided on the gift card. CUNA recommended that the Fed “provide some flexibility in the placement and location of these disclosures” to help alleviate these disclosure issues. CUNA also suggested that satisfying a requirement that would force credit unions to automatically issue replacement cards if the underlying funds do not expire until after the expiration date would be “impossible,” as “credit unions do not have records as to who is the ultimate recipient of these cards.” Also, while gift cards or other certificates that are printed on paper should not be exempted from these rules, CUNA called on the Fed to exempt cards that are sold and in circulation as of Aug. 22, 2010 from the rules. Use the resource link below to read CUNA's complete remarks.


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