Some US retailers are putting restrictions on card purchases, a result of new rules that put them on the hook for fraud. Some merchants are requiring that customers buy the cards with cash or asking that they show identification.
Americans are expected to load $651 billion on prepaid cards this year, up 57% from six years ago, according to consulting firm Mercator Advisory Group. Nearly half of that is expected to involve the “open-loop” cards branded by Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. or American Express Co. that can be used anywhere and that are affected by the new limits. Gift cards also are a favorite among criminals, who pay for them with stolen credit-card data.