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Prepaid and Gift Cards in the U.S., 3rd Edition

Prepaid card usage trends and debit-driven regulatory change suggest that the prepaid industry has the wind at its back. Indeed, Packaged Facts estimates that prepaid card payment volume will rise 22.4% in 2012 to $247.5 billion, up from $202.2 billion in 2011, on the strength of almost 10 billion transactions.

However, continued growth will meet with a combination of challenges and opportunities: How will the industry approach consumers’ banking dissatisfaction & distrust issues? Can it strike a balance between checking account profits and emerging migration to prepaid programs? How can it increase prepaid cardholder retention, navigate lingering overdraft issues, harness card platforms to best meet the needs of the unbanked and underbanked, and leverage younger consumers’ financial positions while building relationships with them? In what ways will it seek to increase product transparency while reducing fees and simplifying fee structures?

Packaged Facts’ report on Prepaid and Gift Cards in the U.S. takes up these issues and many more, covering trends related to general purpose reloadable prepaid cards, government benefit cards, payroll cards, and gift cards, with a focus on general purpose reloadable prepaid cards. The report includes:

•An overview of recent regulations reshaping not only the prepaid debit card landscape but also broader consumer banking revenue generation strategies

•Prepaid card brand analysis, including Chase Liquid, American Express Prepaid, the Walmart MoneyCard, RushCard, H&R Block Emerald Card, and Direct Express

•Prepaid debit card usage and growth within the context of the consumer payments universe

•Prepaid card and gift card usage demographic trends

•The degree to which consumers use their prepaid cards and how prepaid engagement relates to the use of other payment cards. We also assess relationships between consumer banking product ownership and payment card use, including prepaid card use.

•Prepaid debit card users’ usage motivations (including convenience, relationship to cash, creditworthiness, and spending control); consumer financial self-perceptions; and the relationship between those self-perceptions and payment card use and usage mix.

•Gift card purchasing trends and spending demographic trends

•Prepaid- and broader debit-driven performance and strategies at card associations MasterCard and Visa; prepaid card issuers and program managers American Express, Green Dot and NetSpend; and prepaid distribution network Blackhawk.

Table of Contents :


Chapter 1 Executive Summary

Scope and Methodology

Scope of Report

Report Methodology

Market size and forecast

Consumer survey methodology

Report Summary

Prepaid card payment and transaction volume: market size & forecast

Prepaid complementing overall debit transaction and volume growth

Prepaid cards for unbanked and underbanked and beyond

Government prepaid card volume and value

Gift Cards

Positive holiday spending trend

Purchase spend trends

Regulatory Analysis and Impact

Good news

But tighter regulation still strongly advocated

“The very name ‘prepaid card’ should mean what it says.”

Durbin Amendment and CARD Act

Exceptions related to prepaid cards and gift cards

Debit loss is prepaid gain

Reg E dormancy, inactivity and service fees

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seeks new standards

Prepaid Challenges and Opportunities

Banking dissatisfaction & distrust

But frustration cuts both ways

Banking distrust among Gen Y, lower-income adults and Hispanics grows

Banking institutions shedding low-profit accounts: prepaid in the wings

Significant public policy issues in play?

Case in Point: JPMorgan Chase

Cross-selling the name of the game

If you’re not going to generate revenue for us, don’t expect a free ride

We believe this sets the stage for Chase Liquid prepaid

Increasing retention: churn/abandonment rates continue to challenge industry

Direct deposit as retention driver

Unbanked and underbanked opportunity

Reaching youth

Fee reduction and simplification

Cost analysis: prepaid really a bargain?

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