The Federal Reserve Board has issued a final rule that amends Regulation E to delay until January 31, 2011, the effective date of certain gift card disclosure and related requirements. Issued on October 19, 2010, the rule finalizes the Fed’s interim final rule published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2010.

Implementing legislation, enacted on July 27, 2010, concerning the effective date of gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the final rule delays the effective date of the following provisions until January 31, 2011:

  • The requirement that a certificate or card must contain on its face a disclosure about any dormancy, inactivity, or services fees

  • The required disclosure of the expiration date for the underlying funds or the fact that such funds do not expire  

  • The requirement for policies and procedures to ensure that a consumer will have a reasonable opportunity to purchase a certificate or card with at least five years remaining until the expiration date

  • The required disclosures of information about expiration, replacement cards, and fees, and of toll-free numbers and Web site information for obtaining replacement certificates or cards and fee information  

To take advantage of the delayed effective date, a certificate or card issuer must meet certain conditions that include: (1) complying with Regulation E’s substantive restrictions on fees; (2) not imposing an expiration date for underlying funds; and (3) making certain alternative disclosures through in-store signage, messages during customer service calls, Web sites, and general advertising.

Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group is nationally recognized for its guidance in structuring and documenting new consumer financial services products, its experience with the full range of federal and state consumer credit laws throughout the country, and its skill in litigation defense and avoidance (including pioneering work in pre-dispute arbitration programs). For more information, please contact group Chair Alan S. Kaplinsky, 215.864.8544 or; Vice Chair Jeremy T. Rosenblum, 215.864.8505 or; John L. Culhane, Jr., 215.864.8535 or; Barbara S. Mishkin, 215.864.8528 or; or Mark J. Furletti, 215.864.8138 or

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