Prepaid Market Forecast 2009 to 2012

New Report Identifies Trends and Forecast Growth
of the Prepaid Card Market

Boston, MA – November 30, 2009 — The projected growth of the Prepaid Market in general, and the solid growth within particular prepaid segments, suggests that the Prepaid Industry will continue to attract new players and investments and will remain extremely dynamic.

Although many segments within both the Open and Closed Loop prepaid card markets have seen lower growth rates in 2008, the fact remains that growth for Network Branded solutions continue to outpace Closed Loop by a significant amount and has proven critical in maintaining a positive overall growth rate for the prepaid market as a whole.

Several significant adjustments have been made to this year’s forecast to reflect increased reporting from prepaid processors. Most importantly several Open Loop segments have had future growth rates substantially increased to reflect the actual growth measured in 2008. Based on our adjustments Mercator Advisory Group now predicts that the Open Loop market will exceed the size of the Closed Loop market in 2012 by $41.8 billion.

This greatly anticipated report finds that the total load volume across all 33 Prepaid Market Segments, including all Open and Closed Solutions, will reach $525.8 billion by 2012.

The Prepaid Market Forecast 2009 to 2012 report is the final of three annual Mercator Advisory Group reports that thoroughly benchmark the entire Prepaid Industry. This report provides a growth forecast for all 33 Prepaid Market Segments, including load volumes and cards issued.

The Prepaid Market Forecast 2009 to 2012 report delivers significant data that addresses the comparative growth rates of different segments and the forecasted future growth based on Mercator’s exclusive insights and analysis of these segments.

"When the prepaid market is evaluated on a segment-by-segment basis, it becomes clear that there are far more markets that are expanding or thriving in this economy than there are segments experiencing negative growth. Mercator Advisory Group expects this will continue to be the case as the industry moves forward unless legislation is passed that negatively impacts current market conditions," comments Tim Sloane, Director for Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The Open Loop market will exceed the Closed Loop market in total dollars loaded as early as 2012.

  • Based on these adjustments, Mercator Advisory Group now predicts that the Open Loop market will exceed the size of the Closed Loop market in 2012 by $41.8 billion.

  • Based on other reports that argue the prepaid market is smaller than reported here, Mercator Advisory Group redoubled efforts to collect data from processors and received input from several new sources. With regrets to Federal Reserve Board (FRB) statements to the contrary, every additional data point we received indicates that the open loop market is larger than we have reported, not smaller.

  • Due to corrections that increased the size of the Open Loop market, the Total Prepaid Market size in 2011, which was forecast at $362.3 billion last year, is now forecast to be $427.5 billion.

  • In 2008, $8.7 billion was loaded onto GPR products and with this forecast we estimate that the market load in 2010 will be $36 billion and continue to escalate out to 2012.

One of the 93 Exhibits included in this report:

This report contains 55 pages and 93 exhibits.

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.

Please visit us online at more information, please call Mercator Advisory Group’s main line: 781-419-1700 or send email to

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.