The Green Sheet Online Edition
February 28, 2011 • Issue 11:02:02
Can celebs add pizzazz to prepaid cards?
I'm helping a retailer who's really interested in celebrity-branded prepaid cards. Her business caters to teens and young adults, so it seems like a potential fit. But it seems such cards never last very long.
Tyler Merchant Advisors
You are right. Celebrity prepaid cards haven't enjoyed longevity in the marketplace, not yet anyway. The latest example is the Kardashian sisters' card, which was introduced in November 2010 and cancelled less than a month later. This card apparently had a hefty annual fee in addition to a monthly fee, and this generated negative press at a time when the bankcard industry is under more scrutiny than ever on the part of legislators.
However, the prepaid industry is highly innovative, and a celebrity (affinity) card with staying power could come along. To keep tabs on developments in the prepaid market, visit SellingPrepaid.com, our website devoted to that sphere. In the left-hand column of our home page, we post press releases describing the latest developments in prepaid. We also publish Selling Prepaid E-Magazine twice monthly, which covers emerging industry trends. If a celebrity card does take hold, we'll be writing about it.
Should I go social?
With the prevalence of social networking, how are payment pros using those avenues to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with merchants that are already in their portfolios? It seems this would be useful, maybe even necessary, for attracting younger business owners. I haven't tried it yet, though.
Your POS Merchant Services
We have noticed an increasing number of readers are adding social networking initiatives to their marketing plans. We have no data on this broken down by merchant age, but it seems logical that younger merchants would mirror their age demographic in terms of comfort with and preference for various social networking and mobile forms of communication.
We have published several articles on social networking written by industry experts as well as in-house staff. If you're interested in marketing in this arena, the following articles from our archives may help you get started:
- "Experts weigh in on social media marketing" - parts 1 and 2, by Bill Pirtle, The Green Sheet, Dec. 27, 2010, issue 10:12:02, and Jan. 24, 2011, issue 11:01:02, respectively
- "Social media and the MWAA," The Green Sheet, by Peggy Bekavac Olson, Sept. 13, 2010, issue 10:09:01
- "Social networking meets the POS," The Green Sheet, a news story, Feb. 8, 2010, issue 10:02:01
- "Marketing in the next decade," by Nancy Drexler, The Green Sheet, Jan. 25, 2010, issue 10:01:02
- "A new era in digital marketing," The Green Sheet, Jan. 11, 2010, issue 10:01:01
Best of luck with your expanded marketing endeavors.
As a long-time fan of The Green Sheet, I know your readers are on the hunt for new marketing vehicles. I'd like to suggest they ask merchants who are satisfied with their services to give them positive reviews on websites like Yelp and CitySearch. And, if payment pros have had positive experiences with their merchants' products and services, they could reciprocate by writing reviews on the same sites themselves.
Sam T. Ramirez
Two Brothers Payments Consulting
We haven't run across this idea before. It seems, as long as the parties stick with the truth, it could be mutually beneficial. Thanks for the suggestion.
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