I recently came across an excellent site called Payments News (http://www.paymentsnews.com) that discusses of all things – prepaid cards. I find this very interesting since that is the industry that I’m currently working in and am really enjoying.
There were a few great articles listed that are well worth the read:
First up is this article – http://www.paymentsnews.com/2009/10/2009-gift-card-trend-report-from-archstone-consulting.html - that goes into the 2009 Gift Card Trend and surprisingly the concensus seems to be a flat to modest 5% growth this year in the gift card market. Well worth the read.
Next was an article that was quoted on the site but appeared in The New York Times, Your Money – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/your-money/06prepay.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all. This article goes into several aspects of the pre-paid industry but is geared specifically towards reloadable cards. Will reloadable cards go away simply because of fees? No – here is a quote from the article:
In 2008, for instance, customers loaded about $8.7 billion onto prepaid cards, a 125 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Mercator Advisory Group. The industry is expected to balloon to $119 billion by 2012, Mercator predicts.
If anything the industry is expected to boom in the coming years but with several regulations in the US on the table (CARD Act comes to mind) there will be greater oversight over what card issuers can and cannot do.