Pre-paid and Gift Cards - US - January 2012
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The prepaid and gift card business is experiencing a comeback as the economy slowly recovers from the recent recession. Prepaid cards are among the fastest-growing method of payments, with the number of transactions increasing nearly 23% per year between 2006 and 2009 (source: 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study).
Use of these cards has expanded beyond general reloadable cards (GPRs) and they are now used by corporations and government agencies to pay salaries and benefits, saving these organizations money and making it easier for people—especially the unbanked—to gain access to their money. Gift cards are benefiting from the improving economy, although the precariousness of the recovery is certainly having a dampening effect.
Demographics and technology are also positive factors for both sectors, as growth in un- and underbanked populations, historically heavy users of prepaid cards, is growing, and as mobile technology increases in presence and sophistication.
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