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Prepaid cards are plastic payment cards that are preloaded with money and can be used to make in-store or online purchases. Prepaid cards are gradually evolving into a mainstream market driven by widening acceptance. These cards act as portable checking account, but entail lesser risk when compared to loans and credit cards. The market is expected to witness growth supported by a host of factors such as rise in the number of consumers preferring payment cards over traditional banking, entry of new brands, and pull back of free checking facility for low balance consumers by banks. Given the flexibility, security and convenience factors associated with prepaid cards, demand for these cards is expected to gain further over the coming years. Another growth driver is e-commerce as consumers use prepaid cards instead of credit or debit cards for making online purchases.
Prepaid Cards offer stiff competition to debit cards, especially payroll and general purpose re-loadable cards. Prepaid gift cards and prepaid payroll cards are other areas with favorable growth prospects. Despite an increase in the underbanked consumers over the last few years, prepaid card providers are looking beyond the cohort, to venture into new revenue streams. Buoyed by the increasing demand for protection against currency fluctuations, budgeting and security, the demand for prepaid travel cards continues to gain momentum.
Closed loop prepaid cards represents the largest market segment in terms of card load. Network-branded open loop prepaid cards are gaining wider acceptance among global investors, with growth largely fuelled by the popularity of general purpose reloadable cards, government disbursement cards and payroll cards.
United States represents the single largest market worldwide. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing regional market with a projected CAGR of 17.6% over the analysis period. Steady economic growth, growing population, rising standards of living, expanding retail network, and increasing per capita consumer spends represent key growth drivers in the region.
Major players covered in the market include American Express Company, Axis Bank Limited, The Bancorp Bank, Blackhawk Network Inc., Caxton FX Limited, Edenred S.A., Green Dot Corporation, InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions LLC, Inter National Bank, Itz Cash Card Ltd., MasterCard Inc., MetaBank Inc., Travelex Group Limited, Visa Inc., The Western Union Company, and WEX Inc.
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