Ninth Annual U.S Open-Loop Prepaid Cards Market Assessment and Prepaid Industry Overview

Both Public and Private Sector Open-Loop Loads Continue to
Drive the Market Forward

Boston, MA — The Ninth Annual U.S. Open-Loop Prepaid Cards Market Assessment and Prepaid Industry Overview report is the first of the annual trilogy of closely followed prepaid benchmark reports (Open-Loop, Closed-Loop, and Prepaid Market Forecast) that provide a thorough analysis and documentation of the growth and development of the prepaid industry. The report benchmarks the load, growth, and market dynamics for all open-loop prepaid solutions. This includes a review of the dollars loaded on open-loop prepaid products in 18 different market segments.

Mercator Advisory Group defines an open-loop card as one that leverages one of the major payment networks to complete transactions. Examples include an open-loop gift card that can be used at any store that accepts the brand on the card, or a government benefits card that can be used at any retailer that accept the brand on the card.

The open-loop prepaid market, which consists of 18 segments, grew to $184.1 billion in 2011, up 24 percent from $148.4 billion in 2010. This report documents the dollars loaded onto open-loop prepaid cards or access devices in 2011.

The segments tracked in this report include travel, prepaid financial services (GPR), gift, remittance, events and meetings, employee and partner incentives, consumer incentives, campus, in-store gift cards (private label), social security, TANF, court ordered payments, transit, unemployment, insurance, payroll, benefits, and FSA/HSA.

“While some segments had growth of over 1000% between 2010 and 2011, others saw continued double digit growth rates and one actually contracted by more than 1%. The growth has been driven by the cash access and government categories; however, the future growth of the market could be hurt by potential regulatory actions,” says Tim Sloane, director of Mercator’s Prepaid Advisory Service and author of the report.

Highlights of the report include:

Dollar load for prepaid open-loop cards across 18 segments

The three factors that closely affect the prepaid open-loop market

New data that shed additional light on government benefits cards, and prepaid cash access cards

Changes in the dollars loaded onto open-loop cards for temporary assistance to needy families due to state-driven changes

One of the 23 exhibits from the report:


This report contains 32 pages and 23 exhibits.

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