Pre-paid card market set for exponential growth - MasterCard

Source: MasterCard

The total value of the branded prepaid card opportunity in the United States is expected to surpass $440 billion by 2017, nearly quadrupling its estimated value of $120.2 billion in 2009, according to independent research commissioned by MasterCard.

The Prepaid Market Sizing Report, prepared by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), indicates that future branded prepaid growth will be driven primarily by increases in the public sector and corporate payroll segments. The healthcare and general use branded prepaid segments will also continue to see steady expansion.

"As the study findings demonstrate, there's significant growth potential for prepaid in the U.S. and MasterCard is committed to aggressively resourcing the opportunity to expand our prepaid footprint both in the U.S. and worldwide," said Laura Kelly, Group Executive, Global Prepaid Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide. "Having successfully launched several of the world's largest prepaid programs, MasterCard is leading the way in prepaid innovation as the network of choice for organizations looking to enter or expand their prepaid programs. We commissioned this study to assess the true segment potential and identify key industry growth drivers to help MasterCard and our partners better understand and optimize the opportunity before us."

U.S. Remains Branded Prepaid Segment Leader

The United States will continue to play a lead role in the expansion of prepaid around the globe. By 2017, it is projected that the United States will hold approximately 53 percent of the global branded segment, making its share more than double the next six leading markets, including India, the UK, Mexico, Italy, Middle East and Brazil. Combined, these markets will hold approximately 25 percent of the branded prepaid market. And while the U.S. will remain the branded leader, Brazil is expected to expand substantially, growing from just $1.7 billion in 2009, to more than $17 billion in 2017.

"The Prepaid Market Sizing Report provides a holistic view of the prepaid segment around the globe. It looks at the prepaid segment in 46 countries across six continents, and includes vertical-specific information for nearly 20 verticals," said David Bronstein, Partner and Managing Director, BCG. "Through this research, we found that the U.S. prepaid segment is poised for significant growth over the next several years, and that there's an opportunity for innovative organizations to meet new segment needs with the right mix of products and solutions."

Public and Corporate Sectors Drive U.S. Branded Growth

As the prepaid segment continues to evolve, public and corporate sectors will drive significant prepaid growth in the U.S. According to the Prepaid Market Sizing Report, the public sector will more than quadruple in overall segment value by 2017, growing from $31.7 billion in 2009 to $163 billion by 2017. The corporate sector, driven primarily by payroll, will also play a key role in branded expansion. In 2009, branded prepaid payroll was valued at $25.6 billion. By 2017, BCG estimates it will reach $99.6 billion.

Additional growth sectors include healthcare and general use branded prepaid. Healthcare is anticipated to grow from $15.3 billion in 2009, to more than $52 billion by 2017, while general use is anticipated to more than double, reaching nearly $50 billion by 2017.

About the Prepaid Market Sizing Report

The Prepaid Market Sizing Report was conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide. The study included an examination of branded, closed-loop and semi-branded prepaid product categories to evaluate segment size as of 2009, and estimate growth potential through 2017. The report analyzed data from 46 countries across six continents, and 18 verticals in each country. The Prepaid Market Sizing Report was formerly conducted in 2008 with projections for 2015 and has been updated to include information for 2009 with projections through 2017.

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