May 25, 2017
Updated on September 13, 2019
Prepaid cards are payment cards with a value stored on the card itself, unlike debit cards where an external account is maintained by a financial institution, or credit cards, which are subject to the credit limits set by the issuer. One of the essential benefits that prepaid cards provide is the segmentation of the spending by consumers for categories such as travel, online shopping, m-commerce, etc.
The growth of the prepaid card market has been fueled by a range of factors, among which are the opportunity to perform electronic payments for those excluded from the financial system, a cost-effective alternative to cash and checks for both businesses and governments, etc.
The global market for prepaid cards is projected to reach $3.1 trillion by 2022, driven by the growing need for financial inclusion of unbanked consumers, provision of innovative card features and services, increasing volumes of online transactions, and rising demand for cost-effective electronic payment solutions.
A 2016 study suggests that the US represents the largest market worldwide with its dominance supported by the significant adoption of gift cards, travel cards, reward cards, and general-purpose reloadable cards in major sectors such as government, enterprise, healthcare, transportation, and marketing. APAC ranks as the fastest-growing market, fueled by developments in IT infrastructure, growing penetration of electronic banking, advancements in banking infrastructure, improvements in usability and affordability of plastic money, growing base of the affluent middle-class population who value the convenience of alternative monies as a media of exchange.
A range of companies around the world has developed a convenient, secure, and easy-to-use prepaid card solutions offering the opportunity to limit personal spending and improve budgeting. Here are some of the most interesting virtual and plastic prepaid debit card providers that offer universally useful solutions for holiday seasons and cross-border use:
Acorn Account is a trading-style offering of Spectrum Card Services which is a registered agent of Spectrum Payment Services. It is an independent, FCA-authorized company that has been providing current accounts and payment services since 2007. The company provides accessible but highly functional current accounts not only for personal account customers but also for small businesses as well. Just like other payment cards, Acorn Account Prepaid Debit Mastercard comes with chip-and-PIN and requires a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to confirm payments.
The BreadFX Card is a Euro Prepaid Mastercard, so when users load it with sterling, it converts the balance into euros. When used in a Eurozone country, users spend the euros which they have already paid for, so that they know in advance what exchange rate they are getting, with no hidden fees or surprises. Users can check their card’s euro balance at any time using the mobile phone or the internet, and top up the card 24 hours a day whenever they need to, and receive the current balance via SMS for the cost of a standard network message. The cards are valid for three years. BreadFX prepaid Mastercard card can be used at over 32 million worldwide locations.
The BREADFX Prepaid Mastercard is operated by Payment Card Solutions (UK) Ltd. The card is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd (“WDCS”), which is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct electronic money service activities.
The ecoVirtualcard is a ...