Discover Exec: Prepaid Card Industry at ‘Pivotal’ Point, Reaching Diverse Audiences (March 5, 2013)
March 5, 2013
The prepaid card industry as it matures is reaching a broader range of consumers at all age and income levels, and competition is forcing prepaid products to become more innovative, said Beth Horowitz, Discover senior vice president, on March 4 at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Fla. Mainstream consumer groups steadily adopting the use of prepaid cards include 80 million “Millennials” ages 21-35, who tend to be transient and need prepaid cards for alternative banking; approximately 55 million “Generation X” consumers ages 36-47, who use prepaid cards for family budgeting and 40 million Baby Boomers ages 55-65, who increasingly rely on prepaid cards for specific types of purchases, Horowitz said. “The prepaid industry is at an exciting and pivotal time in its growth,” she added, noting that competition has helped to spark development of “feature-rich [prepaid] cards and new user experiences.”
Three examples of such innovation Horowitz described included solutions from companies joining her on a panel, such as The Home Depot’s expansion of prepaid cards designed for building contractors; Houston-based payments and transaction processing company PreCash’s development of expedited bill-payment services for prepaid cardholders and Marqeta, whose payment platform enables customers to preload funds for everyday purchases and earn up to 7 percent cash back from participating merchants. Emeryville, Calif.-based Marqeta, which launched in 2010, on March 1 announced an agreement to extend its platform to Jamba Juice Co., which operates more than 700 U.S. stores. The deal is the first of several Marqeta plans to ink this year with national merchants, Jason Gardner, Marqeta’s CEO, tells Paybefore.