Surveying the Global Prepaid Travel Card Landscape


Prepaid Travel Cards: The Next Big Thing?

Mercator Advisory Group releases research, Surveying the Global Prepaid Travel Card Landscape

Published on: October 8, 2014
Author: Ben Jackson
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann

Categories: ,

As the barriers to international travel continue to fall, it has never been easier for consumers to visit countries around the world. One necessary activity for travelers either before or shortly after arrival is the exchange of currency. While some consumers prefer exchanging money at a local financial institution branch or withdrawing cash from an ATM, others prefer exchanging currencies at leading foreign exchange brokers like Travelex or MoneyCorp. A third option, prepaid travel cards, combines the two. Around the world, prepaid travel cards are increasingly popular as a more secure and efficient means of payment abroad than cash.

Mercator Advisory Group’s report, Surveying the Global Prepaid Travel Card Landscape highlights the overall global potential for these prepaid products by analysis of international travel statistics, including inbound and outbound travel volumes for the United States. In addition, the report reviews leading travel card products in the top five countries of origin of travelers visiting the United States, namely Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany (in order of tourist volume to the U.S.). The report also reviews the ways that these prepaid cards are marketed and distributed within each market.

“Issuers will have to balance the benefits of a growing travel base with the fact that prepaid travel cards are inherently a niche product. Arguably more important is the need to develop a prepaid product that accurately reflects the behaviors and needs of the market they are operating in. Travel prepaid cards have a bright future around the world, but only if the cards are marketed and distributed through the correct channels,” according to Ben Jackson, Director or Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service, and co-author of the report.

This report contains 20 pages and 9 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Bank of Montreal, Banorte, Caxtonfx, Citizens Bank (Canada), Deutsche Kredit-Bank, Euronet, FairFX, Monex, MoneyCorp, myTravel, Neo Money, Payango, Post Office (U.K.), Travel Bank, Travelex, and Virgin Money.

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


Highlights of the report include:

  • Global and U.S.-focused travel statistics that highlight the potential for prepaid travel cards in world markets, including the United States 
  • A review of leading prepaid travel card products in Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany 
  • Examination of the marketing and distribution channels employed by prepaid travel card issuers to help get their products into the hands of the consumers



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