Since 2004, the author has been measuring the size of the prepaid market in the United States. Early in 2016, the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO) asked the author to bring its benchmarking process to the Canadian open-loop prepaid market. Working with the CPPO and Canadian issuers, created the taxonomy shown in the exhibit for measuring the Canadian open-loop prepaid market. This benchmark identifies opportunities, according to this report, The Canadian Open-Loop Prepaid Market: 2018.
This taxonomy formed the basis of the survey that was sent to prepaid card issuers and program managers in Canada. Three categories define the market more broadly than does the U.S. benchmark, both because the Canadian market is different and smaller than the U.S. market and to facilitate confidential reporting. The taxonomy will evolve as new categories become active and new information is made available in future years as author continues the annual benchmarking.
“As in the United States, the future of Canadian prepaid depends on providers finding places where their cards can displace cash and checks, and where prepaid cards can become a means for distributing value more efficiently than other forms of payment. Typical growth has come from government agencies streamlining their disbursement process and utilizing direct deposit on to a prepaid card for those individuals without a traditional checking account. Now that the market is becoming established, expect to see more FinTech (financial technology companies) enter the space, typically payday lenders/check cashiers. Additionally payroll direct deposit onto a prepaid debit card for those who don’t have a traditional deposit account will be a large growth segment in the future. These areas grew significantly in the U.S. once government insurance secured the funds,” commented the author of the report.
Highlights of the research include:
- The Canadian open-loop prepaid market has 11 segments out of a possible 17, which suggests that there is room for future growth in the market.
- The “Corporate-Funded Cards” category includes the Consumer Incentives and Employee and Partner Incentives segments, whose small size (Can$200 million) is in part a consequence of the fact that specialized knowledge is required to address the market’s unique requirements.
- The “Government-Funded Cards” category is new in Canada but growing as more governments utilize the cost savings associated with issuing prepaid cards instead of checks.
- The total market size for 2018 in dollars loaded onto open-loop prepaid cards is Can$4.3 billion, an increase of 9.0% over 2017, which shows that the market overall continues to be healthy.
Methodology: Measuring the Market While Maintaining Confidentiality
The Benchmark Study: Conditions
Size of the Canadian Open-Loop Prepaid Market
General Purpose Reloadable Cards
The Open-Loop Gift Cards and RAN Gift Cards
Additional Active Segments: Canadian Commercial Prepaid Market
Conclusions: Canadian Market Has Room for Growth and New Segments
Figure 1: Taxonomy of U.S. Prepaid Cards: 11 categories, 25 market segments
Figure 2: Taxonomy of Canadian Prepaid Cards: 3 categories, 17 market segments
Figure 3: Why measuring load value on prepaid cards produces the best benchmark of the total market size
Figure 4: Eleven segments supply total loads onto Canadian open-loop prepaid cards, 2015–2018.
Figure 5: The General Purpose Reloadable Cards segment of the Canadian open-loop prepaid market.
Figure 6: The Open-Loop Gift Card and RAN Gift Card segments of the Canadian prepaid market
Figure 7: Average card load in the Corporate-Funded Cards category of Canadian open-loop prepaid market, 2018
Figure 8: Consumer Incentives and Employee & Partner Incentives segments of the Corporate-Funded Cards category of the Canadian open-loop prepaid market
Figure 9: Average card load in the incentives segments of the Canadian open-loop prepaid market, 2018.