The global prepaid market is both fast-growing and innovative, but it is still largely limited to niche areas of financial services. However, products such as Poste Italianes Postepay show that prepaid can be a serious competitor to retail banking. Prepaid can be an effective component in numerous innovative solutions for consumers, but must be used judiciously.
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What are the major strategies in use in the prepaid market currently, and how can they be most effectively leveraged?
Where is the revenue opportunity in prepaid and how can it most effectively be exploited?
What strategies will allow players in the prepaid market to take advantage of the opportunities it presents?
What are the key metrics of the global prepaid market as of year-end 2013?
How and why do consumers get their prepaid cards, and what are the major reload channels?
The key factor holding prepaid back on a global level is revenue. The revenue opportunity is small and getting smaller, so providers should aim to shorten the value chain. Prepaid revenue is intrinsically tied to volume, so providers will also need large distribution networks and well-known branding.
Prepaid products must fulfill a consumer need - rather than building a service around a prepaid card, providers should build a strong consumer experience in which prepaid would work better than other options.
Italy remains the most mature prepaid market globally, and should be seen as a case study for prepaid providers looking for the key drivers of prepaid, and the innovations that will become more widely adopted in the years to come.