APEX Europe: Tapping New Opportunities for Prepaid (May 21, 2015)
With enviable annual growth rates across Europe—27 percent from 2010-2017—providers tapping new market opportunities, and digital and physical channels converging, prepaid is destined to become everyday money, according to Jason Field, head of prepaid product management, Europe, MasterCard.
During a keynote address at APEX Europe in Marbella, Spain, this week, Field told attendees there are exciting untapped opportunities for prepaid in Europe. He cited Poste Italiane (a Paybefore Awards Europe Best-in-Category winner) as an example of how prepaid can be marketed to meet a variety of consumer needs and serve as a complement to traditional bank accounts. Other Italian banks have followed Poste Italiane’s lead, issuing prepaid as a companion account for current account customers who want to use prepaid to budget or shop online.
The recently launched Postepay Evolution MasterCard provides consumers with an IBAN to enable salary loads onto the card and bank transfers to and from the account via mobile app and online. “Italy is definitely the best example of this convergence [of prepaid and traditional accounts]—now it’s only a matter of time before that convergence repeated successfully elsewhere in Europe,” Field said.
Converting paper meal vouchers into prepaid cards represents another key opportunity for prepaid across Europe with spend on such cards projected to be $12 billion by 2017, according to MasterCard-commissioned research. France, Spain, Turkey and Germany are particularly strong markets for this opportunity, Field said.
Prepaid’s simplicity, flexibility and agility also make it a perfect bridge to emerging payments, Field added. “Emerging technology is not just a driver in its own right, it’s a lever to push prepaid growth.”
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