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Cash may be a less expensive choice than prepaid debit cards

Prepaid debit cards may be all the rage, but they carry with them a variety of drawbacks that lead some to find cash even more appealing. This makes it especially important for companies to have the most efficient currency counting machine on hand. Even though prepaid cards are heavily advertised and sometimes promoted by celebrities, the cost associated with these payment methods makes it preferable for many consumers to rely upon cash. 

Prepaid cards can be costly 
Prepaid debit cards often come with a range of charges and fees, according to new research from Bankrate.com. The data revealed 63 percent of the prepaid cards examined carry a monthly service fee, ranging anywhere from $3.00 to $9.95. This makes it costly for individuals to keep them from month to month, especially if their card of choice doesn't offer to waive the fee under any circumstance. 

While monthly charges can put a dent in a consumer's budget, they aren't the only fees that make prepaid debit cards much more expensive to use than cash. Activation fees are charged on many cards, and can cost an individual up to $14.95, according to the research. Cash withdrawal fees were also prevalent, as every card surveyed charged a consumer who withdrew money from a different bank's ATM. Fifty-four percent even charged a balance inquiry fee, no matter which ATM an individual used.

Some consumers like to keep track of their spending, but doing so on paper could cost prepaid card users. Fifty-eight percent of the cards examined charge a monthly fee if their users wish to receive balance statements in the mail. Those who set their cards aside to avoid spending may also be hit with charges - 29 percent of the cards in the survey penalize inactivity with another fee. 

Keeping it simple with cash 
Because many consumers may not be able to afford the costs associated with such cards, they may opt to take the simpler and less expensive route and continue to pay with cash, especially as many may not be able to afford the costs amid a still-struggling economy. Because more shoppers may choose to use currency rather than these prepaid cards, businesses need to prepare to handle the transactions with the latest money counter machine that will allow them to more quickly handle cash and spend more time assisting consumers. 

04/22/2013