The Eighth Annual Prepaid Forecast

Several prepaid segments will feel the impact of market
saturation in the next four years

Boston, MA — The report, Eighth Annual Prepaid Market Forecast 2011 to 2014, is the last of Mercator’s annual trilogy of closely followed prepaid benchmark reports (Open-Loop, Closed-Loop, and Prepaid Market Forecast) that provide thorough analysis and documentation of the growth and development of the prepaid industry. It benchmarks the load, growth, and market dynamics for all prepaid solutions.

Research for this benchmark indicates that the prepaid market continues to have strong growth despite the economic turmoil and increased legislative and regulatory action. This growth has been sustainable because of the diversity of the prepaid market. However, the research also indicates that the overall prepaid growth rate has slowed — and this forecast identifies several segments that will reach market saturation within the four year forecast horizon of 2014.

This report reviews activity and shifts for open and closed-loop segments respectively. All 18 open-loop and mixed segments are identified and measured individually within this report. This report highlights the segments that are approaching market saturation as well as those will continue to experience high annual growth of between 20 and 70 percent. This forecast also reflects updated market sizing for the closed-loop market based on new data collected from merchants.

“Having now performed eight prepaid forecasts, Mercator Advisory Group has learned not to generalize about the prepaid market. GPR is not a product, it is a technology. Products designed to sell into government disbursements; Reloadable Incentives, Bank Turndown Solutions, Family Budgeting Tools, Payroll, and serving the Unbanked and Underserved, are all unique. Each product has a very different set of product requirements, go-to-market cost structures, sales cycles, and growth rates.” Tim Sloane, vice president of Client Services, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service, and author of the report comments. “In addition, the cost of executing a prepaid program continues to rise due to increased regulation which is occurring simultaneously with margin compression, driven by a fiercely competitive market.”


Highlights of the report include:


Updated market figures based on new data collected from merchants in 2010.

Which closed-loop segments have grown faster than previously predicted.

Adjustments to the open-loop segments most likely to be impacted from new regulations and guidance from the Federal Reserve Board, FinCEN, and OCC.

The key prepaid open-loop segments that will continue to grow faster than other payment types despite adjustment for slower growth rates.

New projections for the date when the open-loop market will exceed closed-loop.

Updated projections of the 2012 total prepaid market size and new forecasts of the loads in the open-loop market.

One of the 67 figures from the 51 page report:



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