2013 Paybefore Awards: Best General Purpose Reloadable Card Program-U.S. Solutions
Best use of a consumer-funded reloadable network branded prepaid card for general use, such as ATM access and purchasing. Includes travel, remittance and youth-focused (including campus and student) programs; excludes payroll programs. For Paybefore’s purposes, card may mean a physical card or alternate form factor, including a virtual card.
Best in Category: PayPal Prepaid MasterCard
Patrick Gauthier, PayPal
The PayPal Prepaid MasterCard is the only prepaid card that can link automatically to PayPal’s digital wallet through online card registration, providing banked, underbanked and unbanked consumers with a prepaid card that is full of features and can be attached to PayPal’s digital wallet. This introduction to the PayPal wallet provides those who are underbanked with additional shopping choices, as well as the flexibility to pay where and when they want. Additionally, the prepaid card, issued by The Bancorp Bank, enables consumers already familiar with the PayPal wallet now to shop in a store, at a restaurant, at a gas pump and wherever MasterCard debit is accepted.
PayPal goes beyond the initial value proposition by allowing funds to be transferred instantly from a PayPal account to the prepaid card, loaded with traditional direct deposit or cash loads at retail. In addition, it offers a five percent APY savings account, merchant rewards, budgeting tools, financial literacy, online checks and money orders, companion cards and refer-a-friend incentives. Secondary cardholders receive a monthly life insurance benefit for 12 months that is equal to the amount the primary cardholder direct deposited during last 30 days, with fees that are competitive.
PayPal is leveraging its brand, marketing muscle and existing user base of 55 million-plus active PayPal users in the United States as an opportunity to expand prepaid usage beyond the typical segment and channels, provide consumers with choice and flexibility with their payments and connect them to more commerce options. It’s more than a prepaid card, as it opens a new door for cash-based consumers to access the benefits of both a prepaid financial solution and a cloud-based wallet, accessible from a variety of devices.
Winner: Access 360° Prepaid MasterCard
- Fifth Third Bank
Access 360°, a reloadable prepaid MasterCard designed with extensive consumer input, is a transactional-based account that enables cardholders to easily purchase items and access cash. It is offered by Fifth Third Bank to new and existing customers and, for some consumers, can take the place of a traditional checking account.
The level of integration into existing financial center systems provides Access 360° cardholders with an enhanced customer service experience. Pricing is clean and straightforward: Consumers pay nothing to obtain the card and $4 or $7 per month. Cardholders qualify for the lower monthly fee if they are Fifth Third checking account customers, or if they load more than $500 to the card monthly.
With Access 360°, cardholders can manage their entire financial lives with one simple-to-use card and never fear overdrafts. The card comes with Zero Liability protection for unauthorized purchases, purchase assurance, extended warranty and FDIC insurance—all aimed at keeping the cardholder’s finances safe and easy to manage. Access 360° is also integrated into Fifth Third’s customer-facing applications, enabling cardholders to manage their cards via online banking and the bank’s mobile application.
Winner: Green Dot Prepaid Card
- Green Dot Corporation
Green Dot developed and cultivated the prepaid industry at retail beginning in 2001. Today, the Green Dot card is a leading prepaid card brand. It’s sold at more than 60,000 retail locations and online, and is supported by significant national TV marketing. Green Dot cards are known and trusted by consumers—offering features customers want at fair prices without hidden fees.
The card’s heritage, scale and well-developed marketing programs set it apart from other GPR offerings in the U.S. market. The simple fee plan is available from the GreenDot.com homepage “above the fold” and prominently on the package. The mobile site includes promotional pages linked to QR codes that have been placed on in-store signage or coupons. The mobile app also enables cardholders to access their balances, find nearby reload locations and find free MoneyPass ATM locations. Fees are competitive, and the $5.95 monthly fee is waived when the cardholder loads at least $1,000 or has at least 30 qualifying purchase transactions posted during any billing cycle.
The card experience itself offers cardholders a fair alternative to banks and/or credit cards. The card has features that are meaningful to customers—such as online bill pay, direct deposit and mobile account access—that help make their lives easier by simplifying financial management.
Winner: KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card
- Kaiku Finance
The KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card is establishing a new normal in the GPR space by creating a value proposition that appeals to consumers across a more mainstream demographic. The KAIKU Card, available on Kaiku.com, is affordable, transparent and feature-rich, with a sleek and stylish design.
Kaiku Finance launched the card in July 2012 using the Center for Financial Services Innovation fee disclosure box and a Progressive Insurance-style fee comparison tool, together with a listing of its limited fees to facilitate transparency and aid consumer choice. The card offers diverse loading options for customers together with free apps for all three major smartphone operating systems, providing transaction history, balance information, transfers to other cardholders, and reload location and surcharge-free ATM finders. There is no purchase fee and for a $1.95 monthly fee, cardholders receive a primary card and free 24/7 customer service. Cardholders also can purchase up to three secondary cards for $2 each.
KAIKU’s goal is to redefine the consumer prepaid market, moving prepaid from the traditional “card of last resort,” but rather to make prepaid an attractive lifestyle choice for a broader mainstream and more diverse demographic. KAIKU has created a consumer centric solution whose cornerstones are low-cost, transparency, rich in features and a sophisticated, high-end design—which epitomizes a lifestyle brand.