MasterCard Europe today announced the launch of three new prepaid card programmes, providing a complementary suite of payment solutions for the management of funds by the corporate and government sectors.
These programmes are:
- MasterCard Business Prepaid Card Programme
- MasterCard Business Prepaid Travel Card Programme
- MasterCard Everyday Money Prepaid Card Programme
For prepaid card issuers and programme operators, these new programmes offer substantial opportunities for business development and an additional component for their overall commercial relationships. Issuers have the opportunity to enrich their business relationships by helping customers migrate more of their business transactions away from paper and cash to more cost-effective electronic payments. Service providers can also tap into these solutions by helping companies and issuers with programme management, by offering outsourced services such as cardholder support, training and education and card distribution.
According to independent research commissioned by MasterCard in December 2006, spending on prepaid payment cards in Europe is estimated to reach €120 billion by 2010. The growth of prepaid card payments in the business sector is accelerating and 8.6% (€14 billion) of the total expected prepaid spend by 2010 will be attributable to prepaid business cards. Another key driver of European prepaid spending is predicted to be the use of prepaid cards for the payment of government benefits and allowances. This sector is expected to account for €36 billion, or just over 29%, of the total spending on prepaid cards in Europe by 2010.
Chris Reddish, Group Head, Prepaid Europe, MasterCard, said: "Business demand for an alternative way of making and managing payments is growing. All types of businesses are looking for solutions that are convenient, secure and easier to control than cash, vouchers and an alternative traditional credit cards. These new prepaid MasterCard programmes provide the perfect solution across the entire spectrum of payments needs for these organisations."
The Business Prepaid Card Programme provides both businesses and government departments with 'ready-madde' and 'customised' prepaid card alternatives to traditional credit cards, cash and cheques for making and managing business-related payments with company money and in the domestic environment. Companies have more control, as the employee can spend only what has been loaded onto the card, and should the employee transfer to another department or leave the company, the funds can be reallocated for future use.
Companies seeking specific solutions for international spend can benefit from using the MasterCard Business Prepaid Travel Card Programme, which covers travel-related payments in non-domestic currencies.
The MasterCard Everyday Money Prepaid Card Programme provides businesses with a solution where they need to pay an individual who doesn't have a bank account. The programme also presents an opportunity for further business innovation, such as cash rewards or incentive payments. Cards issued under the programme can provide governments with more than one option when paying out to beneficiaries. The programme can be tailored so that the public sector can make payments where restrictions on fund spend is needed, such as for emergencies, disaster relief and job training.
All card applications under the three new programmes have universal availability and all the benefits and efficiencies of card payments. All cards can be provided instantly by the company or a service provider and can be reloaded, significantly reducing the burden of administration that comes with cash and cheque payments. Furthermore, all cards provided under the programmes are protected by the same high standards of security as every other MasterCard card.