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Recurrent overdrafts: a deliberate decision by some prepaid cardholders?

Author

Listed:
  • Emily Cuddy
  • Fumiko Hayashi

Abstract

Overdrafts have been an ongoing concern of policymakers, and they are one of the main issues being considered for prepaid card rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently drafting. Despite regulatory interventions and heated debate between proponents and opponents of further intervention, little research has been conducted to understand the overdraft behavior of prepaid cardholders. This paper attempts to fill that gap by analyzing a large micro-level dataset of general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cardholders. We find that a small percentage of GPR prepaid cardholders regularly make overdraft transactions and incur overdraft fees, but they tend to spend and load more funds on their card as well as use their card for a longer period of time than do cardholders who do not make overdraft transactions. Our results suggest that some cardholders may be making a deliberate decision to overdraw their account and pay overdraft fees.

Suggested Citation

  • Emily Cuddy & Fumiko Hayashi, 2014. "Recurrent overdrafts: a deliberate decision by some prepaid cardholders?," Research Working Paper RWP 14-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp14-08
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    File URL: https://www.kansascityfed.org/documents/7719/rwp14-08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2014. "Limited and Varying Consumer Attention: Evidence from Shocks to the Salience of Bank Overdraft Fees," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 990-1030.
    2. Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
    3. Robert M. Hunt & Stephanie M. Wilshusen, 2012. "Consumers’ use of prepaid cards: a transaction-based analysis," Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers 12-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Donald P. Morgan & Michael R. Strain & Ihab Seblani, 2012. "How Payday Credit Access Affects Overdrafts and Other Outcomes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 519-531, March.
    5. Emily Cuddy & Fumiko Hayashi, 2014. "General purpose reloadable prepaid cards : penetration, use, fees and fraud risks," Research Working Paper RWP 14-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Josh Hanson & Fumiko Hayashi & Jesse Leigh Maniff, 2015. "Driver of choice? the cost of financial products for unbanked consumers," Research Working Paper RWP 15-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    2. Claire Greene & Mi Luo, 2015. "Consumers' use of overdraft protection," Research Data Report 15-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overdrafts; General purpose reloadable prepaid cards; Unbanked and underbanked;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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