The State Of Prepaids, RDC, And Mobile Wallet

A roundup of Day 1 at SourceMedia’s Card Forum and Expo.


Callahan’s own Aaron Pugh is in Orlando, Fl, this week covering SourceMedia's 24th Annual Card Forum and Expo. The forum promises to help attendees “stay current on … developments in the credit, debit, prepaid and emerging payments markets,” and Aaron is looking for the best, most innovative strategies and marketing ideas to share with you, our readers. Read on for highlights from his first day.

New Regs On The Way

In the sessions today, prepaid was king. Several new regs are on the way (Frank Dodd on International remittance, Menedez Bill, UDAP, Reg E). Whether these are hindrances or opportunities depends on a credit union's product lines and their mentality, but we should start the conversation now.

Prepaid Familiarity Among Consumers

The government has gone prepaid. It has issued more than 3.2 million benefits cards, overseas the trend is even more prevalent. Retail and issuer partnerships are ramping up — AmEx partnered with Barnes & Noble at several universities for prepaid book store cards — and banks are using prepaid to target their high income segments. Uses include teen budgeting, overseas travel, elderly family care, and more. Given the increasing familiarity with prepaid among consumers, many fringe providers are no longer fringe in the payments space. Credit unions need a better way to meet these new consumer preferences and respond with non-predatory alternatives.

RDC Rewards

Remote deposit capture will make the prepaid reloading process easier than ever before, and rewards (points, discounts) are starting to appear. Today's speakers felt these factors would remove any remaining barriers between prepaid and traditional FI checking. Apparently, people's concerns about cost are second to their preferences for control, convenience, or transparency.

Mobile Wallets

Everyone has a solution, and an opinion, about mobile wallets, but even the naysayers are moving forward with either a hardware — MasterCard just announced NFC wallet — or a software — such as PayPal — point-of-sale solution. The consensus is whoever makes it easiest for retailers, as well as consumers, will win out in adoption.

Read Aaron's day two roundup here.