TMG sees 97% growth in prepaid products
DES MOINES, IA (February 27, 2014) – Fifty-two financial institutions (FIs) that process payments through The Members Group (TMG) added a prepaid product to their consumer payments offering in 2013. This represents a 97-percent year-over-year increase in prepaid product contracts for TMG.
Credit unions and community banks added a variety of products from TMG’s prepaid suite, which includes general-purpose reloadable (ATIRAreload), instant-issue gift (ATIRAgift), instant issue reloadable (ATIRAreload) and the bilingual, reloadable Coopera Card, a joint product between TMG and its sister company Coopera that is designed especially for Hispanic cardholders.
TMG Retail Payments Product Manager Konrad Christensen attributes the increased interest in prepaid products to several factors – consumer demand and ease of issuance key among them. “One of our clients put it best when she said, ‘Prepaid sells itself,’” said Christensen. “TMG’s program truly is turn-key, and as more consumers understand the benefits of prepaid, they are turning first to their primary FI to see if they have an attractive option.”
Growth opportunities in new markets are another motivator for credit unions and community banks to offer a variety of prepaid products. “The reloadable card is great for those who do not qualify for a checking account due to our guidelines,” said TJ Marcsisak, CEO of Nishna Valley Credit Union in Iowa. “It can be loaded with as much money as they wish and used nearly anywhere they want – basically just like having a checking account with a debit card.”
“Having a low-risk, simple and affordable way to offer debt recovery tools to our members helps fulfill our mission of people helping people,” said Deborah Peterson, MSS manager for Mazuma Credit Union in Missouri, which has sold the ATIRAgift product since 2008.
Other prepaid issuers tell TMG they appreciate the immediate availability of the product, particularly in this age of frequent and high-profile data breaches. Cardholders, they say, have responded well to the prepaid option in compromise situations when they need access to a card quickly.
In a webinar for FIs last week, Christensen shared three reasons why prepaid products will be “hot” in 2014. They included:
1) Growth in both traditional (underbanked) and non-traditional (mainstream consumer) markets
2) Increased consumer interest in more secure ways of transacting
3) Uptick in popularity with both consumers and FI issuers (one study estimates more than 50 percent of FIs either have or will have a prepaid product offering in 2014).
A recording of the webinar has been archived at themembersgroup.com/prepaid_2014.
The Members Group (TMG) is dedicated to creating customized, technology-driven card processing and payment solutions for credit unions and community-based financial institutions across North America. Innovations in fraud management, loyalty programs, alternative payment systems and analytic reporting, and the competitive advantages they create, have helped TMG forge a new standard in offering cutting-edge credit, debit, ATM, prepaid card products and a P2P payment solution. For more information, visit www.themembersgroup.com.