The Prepaid Card evolution
Prepaid cards are only getting more popular among consumers and businesses. It's almost not possible to get by today without plastic card - just try to make a reservation or rent a car without one.
What Is a Prepaid Card?
A prepaid card looks same as a debit or credit card but is not linked to a bank account and is "load and use on the go." The card has zero value till it is bought and "loaded" with money. When a purchase is made, the amount of the purchase is deducted from the card's balance. When the balance becomes zero, the card is cannot be used. Some cards are "re-loadable"—money may be added to the card at some stores, online via app, these are termed as General-Purpose Card (GPR). Other cards must be discarded when the balance reaches zero, these are termed as Gift Cards (GC). As prepaid cards became popular, cards emerged for a wide array of products and services.
Some cards are targeted to specific customer needs. For example, general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards may substitute for bank accounts for unbanked or underbanked individuals. Gift cards, employee incentive cards, payroll cards, a simplified system of budgeting and money distribution.
Type of Prepaid Cards
A closed-system prepaid card is merchant specific
The card can be used only at a single merchant or merchant chain. Gift cards are typically both closed system and non-reloadable. Most closed-system prepaid cards are stored-value cards. The monetary value of the card is stored on the card itself via a small microchip. There is no external record of the card value on any payment network and stored-value cards are usually anonymous.
An open-system prepaid card
These cards associated with a given electronic payment network (such as Visa or MasterCard): The card may be used at any business within the network, identifiable by a logo. The monetary value of open-system cards is maintained by the card issuer, not on the card itself. The value of the card is accessed via a unique card number embedded on a magnetic strip on the card. These cards are usually issued in the name of an individual account holder.
Prepaid Cards Attract Diverse Array of Customers
Prepaid cards have a wide appeal among different customer groups from Millennials to the self-employed. General purpose reloadable prepaid cards are meeting a variety of different needs and therefore appealing to a wide array of customers today.
Industry successes on multiple fronts—image, features, value and access to digital commerce—have helped position general-purpose prepaid accounts to appeal to a broader audience, including digital-forward Millennials; those seeking multiple banking accounts; contract workers; the self-employed; and small businesses. Products targeting each of these audience members have been developed and are gaining traction in the marketplace.
As technology advances, payment systems and business opportunities will continue to evolve. The challenge for consumers is to stay informed, read the terms for any prepaid card carefully, and know the fee structure. Above all, read the fine print!
What's next? It's reasonable to assume that the prepaid card market will continue to grow, and the electronic payment system will continue to replace traditional paper-based methods.
MatchMove Solution for pre-paid cards
MatchMove helps businesses increase revenue through seamlessly integrated payments platform without friction or fraud. We provide state of the art platform you need to impeccably facilitate payments for your consumers (payers and merchants, buyers and sellers, etc.).
MatchMove makes it easy for your customer to move digital cash securely. Your customers can make purchases online, offline, send-receive money from anywhere, and borrow money effortlessly.
Since 2013, Singapore-based MatchMove Pay has been in the business of helping companies solve payments challenges that make their businesses run better. In the last decade and half, we have remained an innovative leader, developing deep customer relationships and adopting new technologies that continue to propel the prepaid payments industry.