Both open and closed prepaid segments were impacted by the economic uncertainty of 2020–2022. Business and consumer segments began to emerge into a new and more stable overall environment. We estimate the market will react accordingly with moderate but substantial growth of 6% through 2026. While influences, led by the financial impacts of inflation as well as regulatory efforts, political changes, and other resources, can have large-scale change opportunities, they are more predictable, and organizations in the prepaid market can plan and sell with more confidence on how the market will change versus the complete market disruption that has passed.
The resulting impact is a conservative plan in every vertical touched by prepaid payments that should outpace general worldwide growth. While the International Monetary Fund pegs growth slowing from 6% in 2021 to 2.7% in 2023, Mercator believes the combination of consumer confidence, low unemployment, and additional inflationary impacted spending will allow for the predicted growth of 6% from the 2020–2026 period. Topline growth of loads in the prepaid market will likely respond to inflation, impacting growth in many aligned segments. Several areas will have particular estimated benefit led by nutritional assistance growing at 9%, open-loop general purpose cards growing at 8%, and transit also growing at 8%.
Key Questions discussed in this report:
- What should the industry understand about the prepaid industry in planning for the next 5 years?
- What is expected for specific, large verticals in the prepaid space?
American Express, Blackhawk Networks, Credit Suisse, GreenDot, Incomm, Mastercard, Pathward, The Bancorp Bank, Visa
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