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New Ohio Gift Card Law - Takes Effect Jan. 2019

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The Ohio legislature recently passed House Bill 353, which operates to exempt certain types of prepaid cards, rewards cards, and prepaid electronic payments from the provisions of its Unclaimed Funds Law.

Under previous Ohio law, there was some question as to whether credits owed to retail customers were reportable if the credit was in a certain form, or usable for services in addition to merchandise. Now, any obligation due to a retail customer is exempt, even if redeemable for services (and still for merchandise), and even if that card is issued by a financial organization as defined under the law.

House Bill 353, also now exempts any electronic payment device issued by a financial organization or business that does not contain an expiration date, is not redeemable for cash, and meets the following conditions:

• The instrument is purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis for the future delivery of goods or services
• The instrument is redeemable at a single or affiliated group or merchants/service providers
• Can be an open-loop card issued by a financial organization
• Also includes rewards cards as defined under the new law

House Bill 353 passed the Ohio Senate in September, and Governor Kasich signed it on October 23. The projected effective date is currently set at January 21, 2019. For additional information on gift card production and business usage in Ohio, visit the Attorney General information page.

Stay tuned to the JMS blog for developments in this area – and contact us for clarity on unclaimed property compliance obligations in Ohio and other states.

Tagged: ohio unclaimed property, ohio escheat, unclaimed gift cards, gift card escheat