Source: Advanced Payment Solutions
Europe's leading prepaid card company, Advanced Payment Solutions, is today launching a prepaid MasterCard aimed at gap year students, in partnership with Gapyear.com, the world's largest dedicated 'Gap Year' community.
It is the first prepaid card to come with a comprehensive travel discount network, providing a new lead generation tool to travel partners around the world.
By using the new card, which is issued by Broadcastle Bank Ltd, gap year students, or 'gappers', get access to 10% discounts at hundreds of travel partners worldwide. In return, the travel partners get listings on and leads generated from the card's website, where cardholders do online banking and card account management.
Because the card is a general purpose card, meaning that it can be used anywhere, online, by phone and in store, Advanced Payment Solutions will be able to capture all of the consumer's spending habits through purchase transaction data and be able to identify trends and new marketing opportunities for its partner Gapyear.com to pursue.
Rich Wagner, Chief Executive of Advanced Payment Solutions says: "Prepaid cards are a vastly under used marketing tool that blow the work of focus groups out of the water. Rather than asking would a gap year consumer buy this or that, you can more simply identify through the spending data what they are buying that your marketing partner is not yet providing. The partner can then go and bring the most compatible supplier into the fold, at the proven price point. It is a very precise process."
"It gives brand partners a compelling tool which they can use to negotiate deals on volume and frequency. Tesco has been lauded for its very successful club card scheme, and rightly so. Data is king when you need to be able to drill down into a niche consumer group and refine your offering. A general purpose prepaid card is a diagnostic tool for doing so," he says.
Gapyear.com partnered with Advanced Payment Solutions, enabling it to bring its brand to life with its own design and messaging on the card plastic and the self service card website, but by using existing infrastructure. The card programme is one of Advanced Payment Solutions' award winning Chip and PIN prepaid cards, able to be used at 25 million MasterCard acceptance locations worldwide. The card is issued by Broadcastle Bank Ltd, serviced by Advanced Payment Solutions and marketed through Gapyear.com.
Commenting on the launch, Tom Griffiths, founder of gapyear.com says: "Launching a prepaid card was an excellent way to leverage the brand value of Gapyear.com. From a business development perspective, it made sense to look at how we could turn our high traffic site into a more transaction orientated portal. The Gap Year Card is an enabler for commercially interacting between the site users and the travel industry and to get feedback from our core consumer group about what to focus on next so that we can go after viable new offerings.
"We're experts in gap years and marketing to our target audience. We didn't want to become an expert in card programmes. We spoke to many other potential suppliers in the market place since 2002 and only APS could deliver the complexity of the programme we were after and support it with a level of customer service we were happy to attach our brand to, which is the biggest risk you have when your brand is your core asset.
"It really is a 'best of breed' partnership approach with two award winning market leaders coming together to offer a new product," says Tom Griffiths.
The Gap Year Card:
The Gap Year prepaid travel card gives cardholders access to 25 million MasterCard merchants worldwide online, in store and by phone and at over 1 million MasterCard ATMs around the globe. It is a personalised, Chip and PIN card and offers purchase protection in line with credit based products, but also includes protection for purchases under £100, which is ideal for younger users making smaller transactions, and for visitors to countries with a weaker currency than the UK, for whom many transactions would fall beneath the credit protection threshold. It can be topped up at over 20,000 outlets throughout the UK, 15,000 of which are free and, conveniently for parents, by standing order.