Mollie Bates


Prepaid Card Disclosures




Senior Technology & Innovation Fellow




Designs for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed disclosures for prepaid accounts. The standardized disclosures will provide consumers with clear, upfront information about the associated costs and risks of a growing financial product.

In a retail store, the proposed short-form disclosure is designed to appear on the product’s external packaging and consumers would be able to access long-form disclosure information before acquiring the account by visiting a website on their mobile phone, or by calling a toll-free number.

We used a limited set of design tools in the proposed short-form disclosure to fit in a small space (3.5-inch square) similar to the industry’s current package design. Our aim is to improve the consumer shopping experience through a clear and simple layout, active language, and mobile-friendly access to the long-form disclosure. We designed the proposed disclosure with a single, easy-to-read typeface that is set at minimum font sizes to aid legibility. The proposed disclosure presents fees in two levels of hierarchy with what we believe to be clear, concise language. Horizontal lines are used to direct the eye and whitespace eases reading.

Read more about the design and usability process in my article on CFPB Open Tech.

The federal protections for prepaid account users were finalized in October 2016, updated in January 2018, and became effective in April 2019. You can see the disclosures on prepaid cards at your local drugstore.