Order Form

    This individual Report 4th Annual Prepaid Closed Loop Market Assessment is available for purchase. This Report is available to members of Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service. Please be advised that this Report is normally part of a research and advisory service that provides ongoing support throughout the year. As such, this Report contains significant depth of content that is selected for its strategic importance to our members. (For a description of these services, see our Advisory Services section).

    While the Report represents significant analyst time invested, there is no means of our ascertaining if it will fully meet your specific intended purposes. Typically, these Reports form the basis for future discussions with our clients where we are able to fine-tune additional information that we have gathered in the construction of the series of Reports (or locate new information rapidly due to our exclusive focus on gathering information in the payments industry) for specific member needs.

    Unfortunately, in fairness to our paying members, we are not able to offer this level of support for a single Report purchase. We will, however, credit any Research Document purchase against the future purchase price of the service should you become a member within 30 days of purchasing the document.

    The price for individual Report purchases is $2450 per document. 


    Use the form below to request this individual Report purchase or

    Click here for a fax-back order form




4th Annual Prepaid Closed Loop Market Assessment

Boston, MA
September 2007

4th Annual
Prepaid Closed Loop Market Assessment

Measuring the Growth & Challenges Confronting
Closed Loop Prepaid Solutions


This report is the second of three reports that provides a thorough analysis of the growth and development of the Prepaid Industry.  It documents the spending, growth, and market dynamics for all Closed Loop Prepaid Solutions in 12 Categories and 33 Market Segments from 2003 through 2006.

This report provides an overview of spending in each category and delivers details on the dollars loaded in each segment, the growth over the last four years, and the market dynamics that impact each segment.  This report is unique in that it clearly defines the 33 market segments that are measured and delivers a historical perspective on these markets using data that goes back to 2003 - delivering the only consistent data set that measures the growth and dynamics of the prepaid industry over a period of four years.

This report finds that:

  • $171.18 Billion was loaded on Closed Loop Prepaid Solutions in 2006, an increase of 13.9% over the 2005 spend of $160.29.
  • Closed Loop Gift Cards used for Consumer Incentives grew by 271% while campuses across the nation increased the load placed on campus cards by??almost 8%.
  • The Digital Content Category had a great 2006, growing overall by $1.49 Billion.  This represented a growth of 37% for Digital Media, 35% for Net Phones, and 45% for Games and Ring Tones.
  • The In-Store Gift Card market segment grew by $6.98 Billion while the Distributed Gift Card market segment, driven by the rise in prepaid malls, grew a total of more than 87%.  The use of Closed Loop Prepaid products to support Employee Benefits grew by 9%.  The Petroleum Industry, late to the prepaid market, finally introduced gift cards and established a presence in their own stores.  The market rewarded them by buying just over $1 Billion in cards - yet this industry remains a laggard when it comes to embracing distributed gift cards, leaving a huge opportunity for Network Branded cards on the table.
  • The Telecommunications Category also performed well in 2006, posting a 22% gain in Prepaid Mobile and 7% for Prepaid Long Distance.

Tim Sloane, Director of the Debit Service for Mercator Advisory Group and the author of the report indicates that the closed loop prepaid industry continues to have significant headroom for additional growth, but is also confronting a major challenge from Network Branded solutions in some markets.

"In Store Gift Cards and Distributed Gift Cards have significant room for additional growth, and increasing reach and breadth of product category, combined with strong consumer adoption, will continue to drive that growth. At the same time, Restricted Acceptance Networks implemented with Network Branded Cards represent a very real challenge to closed loop solutions.  This threat can be turned into an opportunity by early action, but with growth rates that seem to indicate smooth sailing ahead it is likely many will miss the signs of an impending storm."

This report is 30 pages long and contains 15 exhibits.

One of the 15 Exhibits in this report:


Members of Mercator Advisory Group have access to these reports, the spread sheet that contains the base data, as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other memberships benefits.  

Please visit us online at

For more information, please call Mercator Advisory Group's main line: 781-419-1700 or send email to