2013 Paybefore Awards: Best Retail-Based Prepaid Card Program (June 2013)
The retailer that has used prepaid most effectively to increase sales, promote its brand and/or extend convenience to customers.
Best in Category: Walmart Prepaid Card Program
|Jason Marshall and Sabrina Chin, Walmart|
Aggressively promotes broadest assortment of innovative prepaid products at everyday low prices through extensive merchandising in the most valuable space in the store—the impulse/frontend.
Walmart sets a high bar for efficiency in its stores and, when it comes to prepaid, the nation’s largest retailer is maximizing prepaid merchandising opportunities in every corner. From the high-impact entrance zone at the front of stores to specific departments to online, Walmart integrates prepaid cards into its overall sales and loyalty strategies.
Walmart strategically displays prepaid cards—including Walmart closed-loop, third-party closed-loop, open-loop gift cards and GPR cards—throughout all channels so customers and employees can spot prepaid card products and their myriad benefits easily.
Promoting such a broad assortment of prepaid cards to 140 million customers who pass through Walmart’s doors each week is no easy task, but the mega-retailer continually updates and refines the presentation of its prepaid cards in its stores and online, so customers constantly are attracted to its wide array of prepaid cards for diverse purposes. Eye-catching prepaid card displays are placed prominently within departments, like electronics, where customers can see how prepaid cards can be used to finance installations or to reserve hot new video games.
Outdoor and sports enthusiasts also can find affinity prepaid cards that suit their interests within appropriate departments and online. Seasonal promotions boost fresh interest in prepaid card programs, and Walmart supports additional promotions year-round through multichannel marketing with partners.
Walmart also works with business partners to create unique incentive and other programs that use its closed-loop gift card platform and restrict spending based on SKU. And it promotes prepaid to employees with its Paybefore Award-winning payroll card.
To drive continuing interest in a core store product, the Walmart MoneyCard offers a 3-cent per gallon discount on fuel sold at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, with occasional additional promotions for further fuel saving.
Walmart also keeps customers coming back with their prepaid cards to swipe reload and get cash at registers through many prepaid card programs and prepaid government benefits cards. With a commitment to clear and simple pricing, Walmart integrates prepaid into every aspect of its business and positions itself as a one-stop shop for all consumers’ prepaid needs.
As the world’s largest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven is embedded in neighborhoods and urban areas where it serves many unbanked consumers who are discovering that the chain has become a destination for a broad array of prepaid cards. In January 2012, 7-Eleven made the strategic decision to expand its GPR offerings, adding NetSpend and Western Union alongside GPR cards it already offered from Green Dot Corp. The move improved convenience for consumers looking for more prepaid card choices and increased overall traffic to 7-Eleven stores, with more customers buying and reloading GPR cards.
Expanding 7-Eleven’s prepaid offerings required making changes inside stores. Stores now include attention-getting prepaid card displays positioned prominently near entrances, with additional advertising on store doors and fuel pumps. And, store personnel receive ongoing training in the GPR sales and reload process.
Floor space is at a premium in 7-Eleven locations, and the space and ongoing merchandising support it has given to prepaid cards demonstrates its commitment to the category and to being a financial services destination for customers. During Q1, 7-Eleven runs a high-profile, in-store promotion for loading tax refunds to prepaid cards, and at other times of the year, each brand is allotted two months to promote its products with prominent signage.
Whether customers are coming in for fuel, beverages or a snack, they can’t miss the fact that 7-Eleven also is the place to go for prepaid cards.
Winner: Speedway Loyalty Program
- Speedway LLC
In the highly competitive convenience store category, Speedway knows that rewards are a powerful way to keep customers coming back. And, Speedway rewards loyalty in almost every one of its merchandise categories, including prepaid card purchases, with points customers can redeem for fuel and merchandise discounts, or for the retailer’s own reloadable closed-loop prepaid Speedy Cash card, which has become the most popular redemption choice.
Speedway’s loyalty program is backed by a mobile app, which includes a store/fuel-finder and enables users to track Speedy Rewards purchases, view current point levels as well as the weekly Bonus Point offers and the current merchandise available for redemption. A monthly sweepstakes includes prizes, such as $500 prepaid gift cards from InComm prepaid card partners.
By reinforcing rewards and incorporating prepaid at every level of its loyalty program, Speedway is helping customers come out ahead with each purchase.
But Speedway’s prepaid business extends beyond its successful loyalty program. Speedway revs up further consumer interest in the category by displaying its full suite of prepaid card products—closed-loop gift, gaming, GPR, long distance, money transfer, music, open-loop gift and wireless cards—in prominent areas of its stores. In terms of prepaid volume per outlet, Speedway is one of the most successful retailers nationwide. The value of the Speedy Rewards program attracts prepaid card partners’ participation based on high consumer adoption and superior ROI.