All signs point to the importance of increasing prepaid offerings

by. Konrad Christensen

Although consumers are increasingly seeing the value and convenience of prepaid cards, and their use is on the rise, many community financial institutions (FIs) continue to be slow to add a prepaid card offering to their product list.

Brian Scott, vice president at The Members Group, weighed in on this topic specific to credit unions in a recent CU Journal article.

“I realize it’s been slow going among credit unions for several years, but interest is beginning to rise,” said Scott. “I think without a doubt, that within the next two years the majority of credit unions will have a prepaid program.”

A recent Aite Group study predicts the prepaid market will double in the next three years, so if FIs don’t soon take a closer look at prepaid, they could be missing a tremendous opportunity.

Some of prepaid’s anticipated growth can be attributed to its growing appeal to various demographics. Young consumers are looking at prepaid cards as an alternative to checking accounts, and many travelers appreciate the convenience and loss protection the cards offer as opposed to cash.

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