Measuring Reload: ACH, Cards, Cash, and Checks

New research from Mercator Advisory Group identifies and details payment instruments consumers use to reload prepaid products

Boston, MA — Cardholders who reload prepaid accounts represent some of the most loyal and cost-effective card customers possible. These individuals have chosen to deposit funds into the prepaid account with the intent of using that product or service in the near future, and are willing to commit their funds in advance for that purpose. From an issuer or program manager’s perspective, such customers are both loyal and cost effective to service since reloading accounts can lower costs associated with interchange and card reissuance.

Mercator Advisory Group’s new research report, Measuring Reload: ACH, Cards, Cash, and Checks, details the current state of prepaid reload across all network types (open and closed), and across all payment types (cash, ACH, card, and check). The estimates provided in this report will prove to be a valuable industry guide, delivering interesting insights regarding reload as it is applied to different open and closed programs. For example, this report finds that program types vary significantly not only in the reload dollar volume but also by type of payment instrument used to implement the reload.

Highlights of the report include:

Sizing of the entire U.S. reload market, including all open- and closed-loop prepaid segments and products

Breakouts of reload volume for each open- and closed-loop segment

Top segments in consumer, government, and corporate reload volume

The top three segments receiving consumer funding through the use of cash, check, card, and ACH transactions

Reload issues specific to open-loop cards and the prepaid financial services segment

An overview of the reload value chain and its dominant players

Challenges consumers confront during the reload experience and the reason many of the difficulties in reload are systemic

Until this report, reload was always evaluated as a function strictly associated with a particular product. Retailers, transit operators, payroll card suppliers, managers prepaid financial services program (general purpose reloadable cards) all looked at reloads as a unique service they offer. This research proves that reload implementations share many common attributes and that the lessons learned in one reload domain can be extremely valuable in other domains,” says Tim Sloane, Director of Mercator’s Prepaid Advisory Service and author of the report. “The facts uncovered in this report suggest that many of the most common complaints seen on message boards regarding funding problems are actually driven by the operational limitations of the ACH.”

One of the eight exhibits in this report:

This report is 34 pages long with eight exhibits.

Companies mentioned in the report include: 7-Eleven, Ace Cash Express, Albertsons, Blackhawk, Cachet Financial, Cashland, CheckNGo, Chexar, Community Financial, CVS, Exxon, FirstView Financial, Green Dot, Hess, InComm, K-Mart, Kroger, MasterCard, Meijer, Moneygram, Murphy Oil, NACHA, Netspend, Radio Shack, Regions Bank, Rite Aid, SNAP, Social Security Administration, Speedway, Starbucks, The Check Cashing Store, U.S. Treasury, Visa, Walgreens, Walmart, and Western Union.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

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About Mercator Advisory Group
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. 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, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal