COLUMBUS—State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded the passage of House Bill 353 by the Ohio House, legislation he sponsored that changes Ohio law regarding open-loop gift cards, protecting banks and potential customers.
Under the bill, Ohio’s Unclaimed Funds Law would not apply to certain open-loop prepaid cards and rewards cards and would allow for the use of electronic prepaid cards. An open-loop card is a gift card that is accepted at any point-of-sale location and may be branded with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and more. Current law requires funds on these cards that go unclaimed after five years to be remitted to the state.
This puts Ohio at a competitive disadvantage, as businesses that offer open-loop gift card products will not partner with an Ohio-based bank to do so. Instead, the economic benefits of the products go to states without restrictive escheatment laws. House Bill 353 would give the state access to a growing prepaid market, increasing revenue to community banks and benefiting employees, businesses, and customers.
“By passing this bill, the Ohio House of Representatives has been responsive to a local legislative request that will allow for job and community growth in the 88th House District,” said Reineke.
House Bill 353 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.