Challenges in Global Prepaid Card Markets: 2009

Boston, MA. – April 9, 2009 – Global economic downturns appear to be weighing heavily on the growth of credit and debit card markets worldwide, while simultaneously fueling an increasing demand for prepaid cards. Prepaid industry participants however, will discover unique challenges in growing their business in the international markets.

In a new report, Challenges in Global Prepaid Card Markets: 2009, Mercator Advisory Group explores key challenges presented in international prepaid card markets and discusses strategies and best practices that stakeholders in the prepaid card industry can leverage when evaluating international markets. Topics discussed include legal and regulatory challenges, market infrastructure and readiness, product design and selection, as well as business models and strategies. Best practices and case studies are discussed throughout the report to illustrate different approaches in handling the challenges and tapping prepaid market opportunities in Europe, Asia-Pac, and North America.

“Going after prepaid opportunities in the international market requires more than just understanding of the macro-economies and regulatory environments in each markets,” comments Terry Xie, Director of Mercator Advisory Group’s International Payments Advisory Service and principal analyst on the report. “Fully understanding targeted customers, knowing where they are, and what financial help they need, among others critical factors, are pre-requisites for designing and implementing creative product plans to best serve these customers. In addition, selecting the right sales, marketing, and distribution channels while aligning the interests of different parties involved in a prepaid business ecosystem are often key success factors in serving prepaid customers around the world.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Legal, regulatory, and cultural differences in international markets are significant and represent challenges for international players.
  • Out-of-the-box thinking is crucial as prepaid business is a non-traditional market for the banks. This gives specialized program managers the edge in competition.
  • Innovations in providing prepaid solutions to identify and serve un-meet financial needs in developing markets bring lots of potentials.
  • The value chains of the prepaid card industry in different markets tend to be complicated and demand careful considerations in the designing of a prepaid business model. Getting different parties involved and building a business ecosystem requires creative thinking and a willingness to cooperate.
  • The design of prepaid card products need to be based in-depth understanding of the market opportunities and consumer behavior. A successful prepaid program will have features and functions that resonate with a large group of targeted users with very specific needs.

An Exhibit included in this report

This report contains 33 pages, 1 exhibit and 1 table.

Companies and programs mentioned in this report include: Visa, MasterCard, White Eagle, NovoPayment, ItzCash, InComm, Tesco, Wal-Mart, Discover, Metavante Technologies, Accor Services, Altair, Tuxedo Money, MyKad, and Postepay (Poste Italiane).Members of Mercator Advisory Group have access to these reports as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

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Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments industry. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world’s largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, and associations to leading technology providers.