Survey Finds Decline in Purchase of Prepaid Cards in U.S. After Five Years of Steady Growth

One of the 37 exhibits in this report

The recent dip in prepaid buying recorded by the latest CustomerMonitor Survey is a signal that issuers should beware and increase accessibility of their cards online and by mobile, given that prepaid cards lock in spend, foster loyalty, and generate significant incremental spend.

Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent Insight Summary Report, Consumers and Prepaid: Caution Ahead, based on the annual Payments survey in the CustomerMonitor Survey Series conducted in June 2017, reveals that after five years of steady growth, U.S. consumers appear to be cutting back on buying prepaid cards this year, returning to 2014 buying levels. The survey finds that 56% of U.S. adults bought prepaid cards in the year preceding the June 2017 survey, down from 63% in 2016, but up from 61% in 2015, 56% in 2014, 53% in 2013 and 47% in 2012. Retailer-specific cards continue to be the most popular type of prepaid cards, bought by 38% of U.S. adults, down from 45% in 2016, but up from 41% in 2015. Yet, fewer U.S. adults bought prepaid cards in any of the eight categories tracked in the annual survey—retailer-specific cards, general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards, general purpose nonreloadable cards, gift cards for online services, prepaid mobile phone cards or virtual cards, long distance phone cards, and transit cards. However, GPR cards showed less volatility than other types of cards.

The new Mercator Advisory Group report Consumers and Prepaid: Caution Ahead presents survey findings based on responses to an online survey of 3,011 U.S. adults conducted in June 2017 as part of the CustomerMonitor Survey Series. The report examines a demographic shift of prepaid card and virtual card buyers and the…

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