Open Loop Predictions 2013

The Coming of Digital, Mobile and Global

Gone are the days when prepaid open loop cards were considered glorified gift cards.

These days, consumers are learning that open loop cards can be linked to a multitude of banking-type features. On the flip side, retailers are learning how to turn these accounts into ongoing relationships with customers that allow them to flex their marketing muscle.

This combined awareness will make 2013 a year of healthy growth in the prepaid reloadable space. We talked to eight executives in the prepaid market, who predict that over the next few years in reloadable we’ll see a plethora of new features added to open loop cards that make them closely resemble bank accounts. This will inspire a more diverse user demographic, and bring banks and traditional credit card companies into the loop as prepaid providers.

CashStar’s Vice President of Marketing Gene Cornfield says providers and retailers should be aiming for “the mobile optimized experience,” meaning that digital cards should be made available through mobile applications that are as easy to use as full online applications or in-store purchases.