The introduction of internet technology in banking sector is expected to boost the demand for cashless transaction among banking customers. However, a large number of banking customers are using cash and traditional banking products such as cheques and demand draft instead of credit and debit cards for daily financial transaction. This is due to the fear of hidden cost and convenience issue associated with cashless payment cards. The banking sector is trying to overcome these issues through offering prepaid credit cards.
Prepaid credit card looks similar to a credit or debit card with a card number, brand and signature field on it. A prepaid credit card is issued by a financial institution and performs the functions of a credit card except that a certain amount needs to be preloaded in account. The card holder can use the card for purchasing items till the preloaded amount gets finished. Prepaid credit card limits the borrowing of funds from the financial institution after preloaded amount is finished. The issuing of prepaid credit card does not require bank account of the card holder. Instead the amount is stored in a temporary bank account till the amount is fully used. This factor is expected to boost the adoption of prepaid credit card for non bank account customers in coming years.
Financial institutions are enabling use of prepaid credit card in automated teller machine (ATM) and point of sale (POS) terminals. If the card gets stolen or damaged, the institution is able to issue new card on basic customer information. The remaining amount in previous card gets transferred into new card automatically. Prepaid credit card eliminates the fee and interest associated with normal credit cards. Thus, the customers don’t have to worry about the risk associated with hidden costs in use of credit cards. Prepaid credit cards are available in various forms in market depending upon the type of application.
Gift cards are the most commonly used prepaid credit card available in market. The customer is able to use the gift card for purchasing the items in market through POS terminal or online shopping. Meal cards offer convenience of providing meal allowance through prepaid credit card platform. Payroll card is another type of prepaid credit card which allows an enterprise to pay salaries, incentives and reimbursements to the employees. The enterprise is able to credit the monthly salary for every month in the employee’s temporary account. Financial institutions are now providing forex, travelling and reward card depending upon the customer’s requirement.
The prepaid credit card finds its application among young adults, college students and old age people. Prepaid credit card eliminates the need of carrying cash which help the young and college students to carry equivalent amount of cash in form of a plastic card. The parents can also track the amount spend from the card time to time.
Some of the major financial institutions providing prepaid credit card are Visa, Inc., American Express Company, MasterCard Inc., Kaiku Finance, LLC, Mango Financial, Inc., Total System Services, Inc., Citigroup and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.