Prepaid Card Forecast: 2011-2014

The prepaid card market continues to have strong growth despite today’s economic turmoil and increased legislative and regulatory action. This growth has been sustainable because of the diversity of the prepaid market. However, the overall prepaid growth rate has slowed – and the Mercator Advisory Group’s report identifies several segments that will reach market saturation within the four year forecast horizon of 2014.

The Eighth Annual Prepaid Market Forecast 2011 to 2014 report provides analysis and documentation of the growth and development of the prepaid industry. It benchmarks the load, growth, and market dynamics for all prepaid solutions.

This report reviews activity and shifts for open and closed-loop segments respectively. All 18 open-loop and mixed segments are identified and measured individually within this report. Highlighted are the segments that are approaching market saturation as well as those that will continue to experience high annual growth – between 20% and 70%. Also provided are updated market sizing for the closed-loop market based on new data collected from merchants.

“Having now performed eight prepaid forecasts, Mercator Advisory Group has learned not to generalise about the prepaid market. GPR is not a product – it is a technology. Products designed to sell into government disbursements; reloadable incentives, bank turndown solutions, family budgeting tools, payroll, and serving the unbanked and underserved, are all unique,” said Tim Sloane, vice president of client services, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s prepaid advisory service, and author of the report comments. “Each product has a very different set of product requirements, go-to-market cost structures, sales cycles, and growth rates.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Updated market figures based on new data collected from merchants in 2010.
  • Which closed-loop segments have grown faster than previously predicted.
  • Adjustments to the open-loop segments most likely to be impacted from new regulations and guidance from the Federal Reserve Board, FinCEN, and OCC.
  • The key prepaid open-loop segments that will continue to grow faster than other payment types despite adjustment for slower growth rates.
  • New projections for the date when the open-loop market will exceed closed-loop.
  • Updated projections of the 2012 total prepaid market size and new forecasts of the loads in the open-loop market.


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