Companies and Markets
Call us on +44 (0) 203 086 8600
Market Research A to Z | Company Profiles A to Z | RegisterRegister | Contact UsContact Us | Shopping Basket Shopping Basket
+44 (0) 203 086 8600 Call us on

US pre-paid card market to expand by 20% annually through 2016

Industry Sector

Finance and Banking


20 December 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


The relatively young US pre-paid card market has rocketed in recent years, in part because of the decline of free checking for customers with low balances, and as more employers pay workers with debit cards.

The US pre-paid card market continues to enjoy strong growth despite economic turmoil and increased legislative and regulatory action. This growth has been sustainable because of the diversity of the prepaid market.

Prepaid cards will expand by 20% annually from 2010 to 2016, as the number of cards grows from 9.7 million in 2010 to 29.2 million in 2016.

The leading operators, Visa and MasterCard, control the largest share of the US pre-paid card market by number in circulation, with 67% and 25% of the category, respectively.

This mirrors their established dominance of financial card payments networks. American Express, which has focused more on the gift card segment, and Discover, have comparatively small shares of the open-loop category, at 4% and 3%, respectively, but have plans for expansion.

Wal-Mart Stores and American Express recently took the plunge into the prepaid debit-card market with a new card called Bluebird. The card has many features that are standard in regular bank accounts and seems to have remarkably few fees -- which have long been the scourge of prepaid cards.

Bluebird is the biggest sign yet that prepaid cards are evolving from a product for the poor and unbanked into a more mass-market offering that competes with regular checking accounts.

The prepaid market has become more complicated as a result of regulation and because of compliance issues, making it more difficult for a small company, entrepreneur or celebrity to create a prepaid card that would have staying power.

The Kardashian sisters, for example, saw their 15 minutes of prepaid fame vanish as soon as their card was launched; Magic Johnson is promoting his second prepaid card, after a card he helped market in 2004 proved short-lived.

With the economic recovery proceeding slowly, the popularity of pre-paid cards will increase. As competition within the pre-paid card market increases and more companies achieve significant economies of scale, costs and fees will continue to fall, maintaining a positive feedback that will make pre-paid cards even more attractive to consumers.

For more information on the US pre-paid card market, see the latest research: US Pre-Paid Card Market

Follow us on Twitter @CandMResearch

Visitor Comments

All posts are pre-moderated and must obey the house rules.

Ryan Freeman

736 Days ago

Call me when there is a prepaid card that allows you to load & spend your money without giving up your personal information. All these prepaid debit cards and banks do the same thing: Report everything you do and send to anyone who is interested in hearing about it!

Change Currency


Change Currency


Use our research skills: Get free support

Free Research Support: Let us do the work for you and find information from public and private sources of information. Contact us now and we can save you time and money.......Free Research Support

December Discounted Prices: Contact us to ask about our special discounts available in December

For the last month in 2014 we are offering discounted prices on a selection of new reports. Please contact us on 00 44 (0) 203 0868600 or via email (click here to email) to ask about prices and special discounts.

Available during December and the run-up to Christmas; Discounted prices on a selection of our reports.

Find all the research at the best prices. Great promotions being offered during December!

We are offering our clients substantial savings on the best research available during December. Please contact us either via emailor by calling our team to discuss your specific research needs on Tel: 00 44 (0) 203 0868600. We look forward to being able to find you the research you require at good prices.


Contrast settings

Text size settings