GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

A Thing
View Archives

View PDF of this issue

Care to Share?

Table of Contents

Lead Story

A new era in digital marketing


Industry Update

Heartland settles some, loses one

U.K. checkless by 2018?

Diners Club: New brand, new voice

A new level of protection


Research Rundown

A capital idea for growth

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Understanding prepaid's target audience

Ciao prepaid

Brush up on terminology for 2010


To checklist or not to checklist

Biff Matthews
CardWare International


Street SmartsSM:
New year, new plan

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Manipulation is good

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Effective tradeshow marketing

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Digging into PCI - Part 7:
Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Company Profile

mPayy Inc.

New Products

An ATM for all types of weather

Triton RL5000, Triton RL1600
Triton Systems of Delaware Inc.


Courting curmudgeons


10 Years ago in
The Green Sheet


Resource Guide



2010 Calendar of events

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 11, 2010  •  Issue 10:01:01

previous next

Understanding prepaid's target audience

The unbanked and underbanked consumer segments are under increasing scrutiny to understand what they want and need in prepaid card products. In a December 2009 impact note entitled Prepaid Debit Cards: Barriers to Adoption, payments industry advisory Aite Group LLC analyzed why some consumers choose prepaid cards while others do not.

In November and December 2008, Aite surveyed 400 frequenters of eight check cashing stores in urban and rural communities in Virginia. For the purposes of its research, Aite delineated checking account holders (underbanked) from those that lacked checking accounts (unbanked). Aite then segmented respondents into five categories: adopters, rejectors, unreached prospects, purchase intenders and lapsed owners.


This segment represented 30 percent of respondents. Aite found that adopters have embraced prepaid cards; not only do they try them but they reload them as well. According to Judy Fishman, Aite Analyst and co-author of the report, adopters consider themselves technologically savvy and willing to try new things. Consequently, they have incorporated prepaid cards into their lives.


Unlike adopters, rejectors have no interest in prepaid cards; because they make up 43 percent of Aite's research, prepaid providers might take heed regarding why.

"They feel the cards are either a problem or a mystery," Fishman said. "And they know about them. They know they're there. But at this moment in time, they don't have any interest in trying them." Fishman attributed rejectors' reticence to a lack of technological sophistication, as opposed to lack of education. "I think the adopters are more willing to use products that are a little higher up in the hierarchy of complexity," she said.

Fishman advises providers to reach rejectors by conveying to them clearly and concisely the benefits of prepaid cards, such as that they are safer to carry than cash. "And in what ways does it give them an opportunity to participate in channels that are currently not available to them if they rely fully on cash or money orders," she said. Unreached Prospects Seventeen percent of research participants were put in the unreached prospects category. These consumers are unaware of prepaid cards and tend to be both younger (25 and under) and older (over 45) than adopters. They are more involved with technology than rejectors but prefer to pay with cash.

According to Fishman, for the younger unreached prospects, the idea of a prepaid debit card has not sunk in; for the older consumers, debit cards are a newer product and have yet to recognize prepaid cards as a natural extension to them.

The report recommends mass marketing and in-store demonstrations as ways to familiarize unreached prospects with prepaid cards.

Prioritize efforts

The other two categories, purchase intenders (5 percent) and lapsed owners (4 percent) were not analyzed in the report because these groups are small and "appear to be already sensitive to the product [and] would be apt to be caught in a broad category," Fishman said.

She recommends that prepaid card providers continue to reinforce brand and product adoption, as well as the reloading of the cards by adopters.

Additionally, providers should focus on convincing unreached prospects to try prepaid cards by providing them simple and relevant information.

For more stories from SellingPrepaid E-Magazine, as well as breaking news and forums devoted to the prepaid sphere, please visit

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

previous next

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems | Board Studios