2013 Paybefore Awards Europe: Best Consumer Value in Prepaid/Emerging Payments (June 2013)
The prepaid or emerging payments program or product that delivers the best consumer value proposition for the combination of features, functionality, service and price.
paysafecard, an e-voucher with 16-digit PIN, is sold in 450,000 retail locations, bringing e-commerce to cash customers in 29 European countries at no cost to the customer.
- paysafecard group
Whether for security or financial reasons, many consumers prefer to use cash to pay for online purchases—and since 2000, Austria-based paysafecard group has offered those shoppers a safe and simple solution. The company’s prepaid vouchers are available for purchase with cash at more than 450,000 POS locations throughout Europe and North America. Once a voucher is in hand, users enter a 16-digit code to make purchases without entering credit card or bank information at more than 4,000 online merchants, primarily in the online gaming, Internet telephony, community, dating and music arenas.
For consumers, paysafecard is available at a price that’s hard to beat—free. Users pay no additional charge to purchase or redeem the vouchers. Sellers of the vouchers, meanwhile, receive a cut of every voucher they sell. And to date, there’s been a whole lot of them; the company currently has more than 2 million active users.
Beyond enhancing the safety of online shopping, paysafecard also offers users money management tools, including online balance checks, alerts on promotions and special offers, and a mobile app that enables users to search for the nearest local POS voucher sales point—all at no cost. And paysafecard continues to add new features to enhance its functionality.
In February, the company launched “my paysafecard,” an online account where consumers can safely store and conveniently manage multiple paysafecard PINs.
Offering a secure and simple online cash payment solution at zero cost for paysafecard users, it doesn’t get much more valuable than that.
Winner: Aktif38 UniPasso Card
- Aktif Bank
University students in the city of Kayseri, Turkey, can save those all-important lira by using the Aktif38 UniPasso card, which enables cardholders to make purchases all over the city with no fees whatsoever, while also earning loyalty points and discounts at participating merchants. The card was designed to serve budget-conscious students and is accepted at student-centric retailers, including clothing stores, movie theaters and restaurants, as well as on the city’s public transportation system. Contactless payment technology enables payment with a tap, and the card can be reloaded with no fee using online EFT or with cash or credit card at participating merchant POS systems. Students can apply for the card online, over the phone, at merchant locations or at special sales offices, with no fee for card acquisition.
Since the program’s June 2011 launch, the public transport aspect has proven to be the most popular usage case, accounting for about two-thirds of card transactions, with the remaining third consisting of merchant spend, according to Aktif. The bank is looking to build on the success of UniPasso by expanding the program to other cities in Turkey, hoping to bring the convenience and cost saving of UniPasso to students across the country.
Winner: Western Union Reloadable Prepaid Card
- The Western Union Company
Money transfer stalwart Western Union has steadily built up its prepaid business over the past few years, and the company’s Reloadable Prepaid Card was a major milestone in that growth upon its debut in the spring of 2012. Available in the U.K., Germany and Austria, the product is more than a simple prepaid card; it’s a comprehensive financial tool for everyday life. With features including money transfer directly to the card via IVR or Web, MasterCard branding, cash access at ATMs, multiple reload methods and robust money management tools, the card offers users plenty of useful functionality.
And interested customers can get their hands on the cards fast: In the U.K., cardholders can receive a simplified version of the card for loads up to £600 (US$938), or they can go through a KYC process and receive a fully personalized card that can be loaded with up to £5,000 (US$7,821). In Germany and Austria, applicants initially are given a virtual card to be used until a personalized card arrives via mail.
Available at Western Union money transfer and bank locations, as well as a growing network of partner retailers, the Western Union Reloadable Prepaid card is broadening the reach of one of the world’s most established companies—and changing the financial lives of cardholders in the process.