InComm Eliminates Fees on Vanilla Prepaid Cards in Canada (Dec. 6, 2012)
Dec. 6, 2012
InComm this week said it’s removing fees from its Vanilla-branded Visa and MasterCard prepaid cards in Canada as part of an initiative begun earlier this year, aligning the fee structure with competing brands’ prepaid cards. The new program eliminates monthly maintenance fees and fees to replace cards, effective July 1, 2012, InComm said. Previously InComm charged Canadian Vanilla cardholders a $2.50 fee on unused card balances beginning on the first day of the seventh month following the card’s activation. InComm also previously charged a $9.95 fee for replacing a lost or stolen card, the company said. Vanilla cardholders in Canada now pay only the purchase cost of a card, which ranges from $4.50 to $7.50, depending on the card’s denomination, plus a 2.5 percent foreign exchange fee on international transactions. InComm in Canada issues its proprietary Vanilla Visa and Vanilla MasterCard prepaid cards in association with People’s Trust Company of Canada.
InComm made the move because of the need for its Canadian prepaid products to “evolve,” says Bill Turner, InComm Canada’s vice president of financial services. There was no direct connection between the new fee structure and pending prepaid card regulations the nation’s Minister of Finance and Financial Consumer Agency of Canada proposed earlier this year that may require more consumer disclosures on prepaid cards, Turner tells Paybefore. “There were a number of contractual, legal, reporting and compliance issues to navigate to make this change a reality and to ensure it could be applied to unactivated cards already in the market,” Turner says, adding that InComm eliminated the fees in July “well in advance” of the release of the proposed rules. A comment period on the proposed regulations ended last month. Royal Bank of Canada last month also announced the elimination of expiration dates and nearly all fees on its RBC Visa Gift Card.