The report titled 14th Annual U.S. Prepaid Cards Market Forecasts, 2017-2020 provides an analysis of the growth and development of the prepaid cards industry through 2020. The report examines load, growth, and market dynamics in the United States across all prepaid segments.
The author’s forecast report identifies key segments that will continue to decline over the next few years as well as those that should see growth. The economy, politics, and consumer behavior will all influence which segments grow and which decline.
The economy will likely determine which way spending goes in segments like events and meetings, incentives, and gift cards.
Political considerations likely will lead to swings in the size of segments. Federal budget statements point to declines in the Nutrition Assistance segment. As government agencies seek to eliminate cash and reduce headcount, loads for prepaid tolls likely will grow. Tax policy and infrastructure spending may affect the transit segment.
Shifts in consumer behavior seem to have led to a reduction in the use of prepaid cards for digital music and other content. At the same time, more consumers seem to be using prepaid cards for mobile minutes and data. While the data is too discrete to be certain, it seems these trends may be related.
"The fundamental business proposition of prepaid cards as a valuable payments tool continues to be strong. Nonetheless, prepaid providers should be evaluating their businesses and looking for ways to diversify, "C. Sue Brown, director of Prepaid Advisory Service, and author of the report, comments.
Highlights of the report include:
- The author forecasts that closed-loop prepaid loads in the United States will grow at a 2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020, reaching a total of $346 billion.
- The fastest-growing segments in 2016 were Utilities, Prepaid Mobile Minutes and Data, and Consumer Incentives.
- The Nutrition Assistance segment fell by 3% and will likely see increased declines through 2020, as federal budgets call for further reductions in spending as evidenced by a reduction in unemployment and food assistance program applications since the beginning of this administration.
- Digital Content loads continued to decline for a second year, though some of the loss may be due to a shift in loads to the Prepaid Mobile Minutes and Data segment.
- Tolls and Transit loads will be influenced by infrastructure spend and gas prices.
- The Prepaid Long Distance segment under Telecom category has been eliminated from tracking for this benchmark report due to declining loads and lack of momentum.
1. Executive Summary
3. Business Time and Expense Category
- Closed-Loop Events and Meetings
- Closed-Loop Employee and Partner Incentive Cards
- Closed-Loop Consumer Incentive Cards
- Closed-Loop Campus Cards
5. Digital Content Category
6. In-Store Gift Card Category
- In-Store Gift Cards
- Store Credits/Returns
7. Government Category
- Nutrition Assistance
8. Payroll and Benefits Category
- Benefits Cards
9. Petroleum Category
10. Utilities Category
11. Telecoms Category
- Prepaid Mobile Minutes and Data
List of Figures
Figure 1: Taxonomy of Prepaid Cards: 11 Categories, 25 Market Segments
Figure 2: Total Amount Loaded on Closed-Loop Prepaid Cards in the United States, 2011-2020(f)
Figure 3: Events and Meetings Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 4: Employee and Partner Incentive Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 5: Consumer Incentive Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 6: Campus Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 7: Prepaid Cards for Digital Content: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 8: In-Store Gift Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 9: Store Credits/Returns Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 10: Nutrition Assistance Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 11: Transit Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 12: Tolls Segment: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 13: Benefits Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 14: Petroleum Cards: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 15: Utilities Segment: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 16: Prepaid Mobile Minutes and Data Segment: Market Forecast Through 2020
Figure 17: Closed-Loop U.S. Prepaid Cards: Market Share of Load by Segment, 2016
Figure 18: Closed-Loop U.S. Prepaid Cards, Market Share of Load by Segment, 2020(f)