New Market Opportunities for Closed-Loop Gift Cards

Boston MA – While closed-loop gift cards in general seem to be a sleepy part of the prepaid market, changes in consumer attitudes, regulation, and technology are presenting interesting opportunities for this side of the business.

Today, gift cards are at a crossroads. Although the closed-loop gift card market was a $68 billion business in 2009, the gift market seems to be plagued by slow growth rates, increased adoption of open-loop cards by businesses and consumers, and changes in regulations. Viewed from a different angle, however, these trends are indicative of a strong market and may even hold keys for the future of closed-loop gift cards.

In its New Market Opportunities for Closed-Loop Gift Cards report, Mercator Advisory Group explores these trends and offers some suggestions on how retailers can take advantage of them to make their gift card programs a stronger part of their business. The report focuses on the opportunities presented by closed-loop cards sold to consumers and provides examples of some creative thinking in action.

The report is designed to be an idea generator for retailers looking for ways to bring more value to their gift cards both for customers and their own business. It is part of an on-going research effort into issues that closed-loop gift card providers face.

Highlights of the Report Include:


The recent slow growth of the closed-loop gift cards market disguises a dynamic business that is full of opportunity.

Gift cards are more than just plastic replacements for paper gift certificates; they are the seeds for new business, loyal customers and marketing programs.

Closed-loop gift cards are one of the largest parts of the prepaid industry and the type of card that consumers purchase most often.

Recent regulatory changes should benefit the closed-loop gift card market by helping to allay consumer fears about buying gift cards.

Closed-loop gift cards are at a cross-roads, and they could see faster growth through tapping into consumer, regulatory, and industry trends.

One of the 14 figures from the report:

This report contains 27 pages and 14 figures.

Companies Mentioned in the Report: Sears Holding Corp., Toys R Us Inc., Starbucks Coffee Co., iCardMall, Store Financial Inc., First Data Corp., Sharper Image, Brookstone Inc.

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


Please visit us online at

For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group’s main line: (781) 419-1700, send E-mail to

Follow us on Twitter @

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.