Pew studies financial products to understand how they can be made safer and more transparent. Pew’s research informs policy solutions to create more effective consumer protections.
The consumer banking initiative studies the accounts that Americans rely on every day to manage their finances, including checking accounts, prepaid cards, and mobile payments.
The small-dollar loans project focuses on small-dollar credit products such as payday and automobile title loans, as well as emerging alternatives.
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A faster, universally accepted payments system would eliminate the wait that many consumers and businesses face before they can access their money, but it is not the answer to every issue—such as banks charging excessive overdraft fees—and it is unlikely to be available to those who do not have smartphones or bank accounts. Read More
Several recent developments have raised the possibility of banks and credit unions offering small installmentloans and lines of credit—which would provide a far better option for Americans, who currently spend more than$30 billion annually to borrow small amounts of money from payday, auto title, pawn, rent-to-own, and othersmall-dollar lenders outside the banking system. Consumers use... Read More
Overdraft programs are often marketed as a service that banks provide to cover occasional budgeting errors, but in practice they are not well understood by consumers and often fail to meet their needs. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires banks to receive affirmative consent (opt in) from customers before providing overdraft coverage for ATM withdrawals and one-time debit... Read More