U.S. Commercial Prepaid Cards: 2015–2020 Forecast


Growth forecast for U.S. commercial prepaid cards in 2018 and beyond

Mercator Advisory Group reports that the commercial portion of overall spend in the U.S. prepaid card market has e growth potential in private sector categories, particularly as delivered through open-loop networks. 

Author: Steve Murphy
Published on: December 27, 2017

Commercial prepaid cards are effectively a subset of the overall prepaid market that Mercator Advisory Group has been covering since 2004. The factors distinguishing commercial prepaid from purely consumer prepaid are twofold. First, commercial prepaid products are sold through either a corporate or a business banking arm of a commercial bank rather than a retail or wealth management business unit. Second, there are fewer categories and segments in commercial prepaid product sets and therefore limited use cases. The load volumes and use are substantial enough to track separately. Mercator identifies six categories and 17 segments of usage across the commercial prepaid market.

In a new research report, U.S. Commercial Prepaid Cards: 2015–2020 Forecast, Mercator Advisory Group examines the ongoing growth scenario in the U.S. market, discussing trends, technology dynamics, and opportunities presenting themselves over the next four years.

“Given the amount of change generally underway in corporate payments, we decided to take a closer look at the specific prepaid commercial use cases and identify a separate taxonomy. We estimate commercial load volumes to be roughly 42% of the total U.S. prepaid market, commented Steve Murphy, Director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service, co-author of the report. “As one might expect, there are fewer segment scenarios associated with commercial prepaid products than with consumer prepaid products because commercial products are targeted to support corporate needs and goals and more efficient management of company resources. To further distinguish between the full taxonomy of prepaid solutions versus commercial-related, we have also identified certain categories and segments that have a mix of spend between consumer and commercial use cases.”

The document is 16 pages long and contains 5 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: American Express, Bento, Discover, GreenDot, Mastercard, netSpend, PEX, Visa, and Walmart.

Highlights of the report include:

  • A detailed definition of commercial categories and segments, as delivered across both open-loop and closed-loop networks
  • A separate set of definitions for categories and segments that have overlapping spend volumes between commercial and personal (consumer) use cases
  • Overall commercial prepaid spending totals by network type, as well as for each applicable segment
  • Forecasted load volumes and segment comparisons through 2020, including government versus private sector spending ebbs and flows 
  • Trends and insights around potential areas for future prepaid commercial card growth


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