Prepaid cards for general use have been marketed with the idea that the cards could be reloaded.
But, according to Mercator Advisory Group, many people who have the cards were not aware that the cards were reloadable. And even if people knew the cards could be reloaded, only 11% of card holders had ever reloaded the cards.
Mercator estimates 79.7 million consumers don’t know about open-loop, or network branded, reload capabilities. Banks, processors and merchants are keen to change that because reloads on prepaid cards can generate big profits. Prepaid cards are most often reloaded at retail stores or at online bank sites. .
The most common use of general purpose open loop card is for gift giving. Gifts accounted for 87% of card purchases. Only 14% of card purchasers used a prepaid card for household-expense management in the past year.
Most users simply throw away the cards when funds are depleted rather than reloading the card.
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