Posts Tagged ‘Mercator’

The Sky is NOT Falling on Plastic Gift Cards

Monday, September 26th, 2011

With all the hub bub about prepaid technologies like mobile wallets, mCerts and virtual gift cards, Ben Jackson from Mercator Advisory Group, offers us his calming and factual perspective in “The future form of closed-loop gift cards – Reports of plastic’s demise are greatly exaggerated”.

Ben examines 3 great lessons of history to temper the overstated destiny of plastic gift cards and advises “that new technologies do not always completely distance old ones”. The history lessons offer great perspective that “There will always be a place for plastic, but (the) day will soon arrive where virtual cards and mobile cards will be a necessary part of every issuer’s prepaid strategy. The task for issuers is to figure out what needs each form factor fills and tailor their program to make each work towards the best results”, states Jackson.

This is great advice for issuers, retailers and merchants as they look to grow their businesses with diversity versus alienating parties via the next big technology.

Source: Payments Journal, Mercator Perspectives

 

 

 

Good News Growth for Prepaid and its Gift Card Segment

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Prepaid and gift cards sales are amplified with new activity as technology paves the way to better than expected growth. Mercator Advisory Group recently reported that all segments of closed-loop prepaid exceeded their previous forecasts for 2010. In-store gift cards were forecasted at 4% growth for 2010, but total load volume hit $84.6 billion, up 10% from $76.9 in 2009.

The B2B gift card market realizes much of this growth via gift card categories like digital-content (online games and social networking credit) and prepaid mobile; gift cards received more loads for these digital-content activities. Retailers are also doing a better job of integrating their gift cards with loyalty programs and other consumer promotions, which catches the attention of potential incentive and rewards buyers. “Loads on employee and partner incentive closed-loop cards increased 10% and loads on consumer-incentive cards also grew 10%”, states Digital Transactions in their Mercator report overview: Buoyed by Gift Cards, Closed-Loop Prepaid Grew Faster Than Expected in 2010

“On the whole, what we’re seeing is even the closed-loop market is showing some resilience in the face of the economy,” Jackson says. Consumers seem to be recognizing the true value of their gift cards, and “many retailers are doing a better job of integrating their gift cards with loyalty programs and other promotions, Jackson says. “They’re realizing that gift cards are not just a plastic version of paper gift certificates,” he says.

Source: Digital Transactions: Buoyed by Gift Cards, Closed-Loop Prepaid Grew Faster Than Expected in 2010

Click here for Mercator’s Eighth Annual Closed Loop Prepaid Market Assessment: Both Public and Private Sector Closed-Loop Loads Continue to Drive the Market Forward

 

Source: Mercator Advisory Group