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17th Annual U.S. Open Loop Prepaid Cards Market Forecast 2020-2024, Part One

The open loop prepaid market in 2019 prepared no one for 2020.


Mercator Advisory Group releases new research that finds that cash access has preserved much of its value proposition.



Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent report, 17th Annual U.S. Open-Loop Prepaid Cards Market Forecast 2020-2024, Part One reveals some categories will grow under the pressure of COVID-19, while others are under assault.

Predicting the future is always a challenge, and the COVID-19 storm clouds from 2020 onward make the task even more of a crystal-ball exercise.

Nonetheless, for the 17th year, Mercator Advisory Group has attempted to balance all the forces affecting the prepaid market to produce a picture of the prepaid industry’s future.

This report provides a five-year forecast (to 2024) as well as Mercator’s market estimate of the dollars loaded on open loop prepaid debit card programs in the U.S. market in 2019.

“The Cash Access category covered in this Report includes not only Open-Loop Gift, which will experience growth under the pressure of the virus, but travel, which has nearly imploded,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, VP and General Manager of Research at Mercator Advisory Group and the author of the report.

The second part of this report deals with the other categories of open-loop cards as delineated in the taxonomy.

This report is 16 pages long and contains 21 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in the survey results shown include: American Express, Blackhawk, Fiserv, FIS, Global Payments, Green Dot, InComm, Mastercard, Netspend, Visa

Highlights of this report include:

  • Growth in the open loop prepaid card category as a whole was positive in 2019, reaching a very healthy 13.6% year-over-year (YOY).

  • While the strong economy of 2019 propelled continued growth in many segments, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer and business spending are expected to be significant beginning with 2020.

  • Mercator Advisory Group forecasts that growth in the open loop prepaid loads in the United States will be 4.1% through 2024, reaching a total of $466.2 billion.

  • Money and Financial Services are a bright spot in the Cash Access core open loop category. This sector is expected to continue on its growth trajectory, in spite of the challenging market environment, thanks to its use in certain consumer groups and applications.