UK Prepaid Market 2011

New International Research Report by Mercator Advisory Group


Boston, MA — At a time when the U.S. prepaid market is seeing continued healthy growth but maturing quickly, international prepaid markets are quickly heating up and becoming a major focus for the global payments industry.

To help the industry evaluate overseas market opportunities and expand internationally, Mercator has significantly increased its industry-leading coverage to include global prepaid markets. In 2011, Mercator began providing comprehensive and in-depth coverage of major global prepaid markets. The UK Prepaid Market 2011 report is the second in this series, following coverage of China published in March 2011.

UK is one of Europe’s and world’s largest payment card markets, sharing similarities with the United States such as high credit card and banking service penetration. Given such dynamics, turning attention to the UK after the tremendous success of prepaid in the United States is only natural. Within the past five years, there has been much activity in the UK prepaid market, with varying degrees of success.

While similarities in language, culture, and economic developments produce a natural inclination to treat the UK market as a smaller U.S. market, the UK prepaid space is very unique with distinct regulations, market structure, consumer behaviors. A full and comprehensive understanding of the market, is therefore a prerequisite for any sensible strategic initiative in this market.

“The UK prepaid market is quite different than the U.S. and other markets,” Terry Xie, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s International Advisory Service and principal analyst on the report, commented. “Closed-loop programs dominate in the three largest prepaid categories in the market. Compared with the United States, the UK prepaid market is relatively underdeveloped in the areas of government, store gift cards, and cash access. Profitability, however, remains an objective for the majority of card programs especially open-loop programs.”

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the prepaid card market in UK. Both open and closed-loop prepaid card markets are discussed, along with an analysis of eleven major prepaid categories. In addition, an overview of the strategic issues, developments, and trends is offered.


Highlights of the research findings include:

Development status and value of the UK prepaid market.

Insight of the UK’s market size compared with global top markets and its overall potential.

The programs that dominate the market and the biggest prepaid categories.

Growth pattern of open-loop cards and the industry actions needed for further growth.

Expected impact of the new European and UK regulations regarding electronic money.

One of the 10 exhibits included in this report:


This report contains 33 pages, 10 exhibits and two tables.

Companies mentioned in this report include: MasterCard, Visa, Edenred (Accor Services), Ukash, Prepay Solutions, Transaction Network Services, White Eagle, P&MM, Advanced Payment Solutions, Epay, Virgin, and Citi Global Transaction Services, among others.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group’s International 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