MasterCard: Prepaid Up 40 Percent in APMEA (April 3, 2014)
MasterCard’s prepaid business is booming in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (APMEA), showing 40 percent growth in gross dollar volume in the regions for 2013, the payment network said today.
MasterCard attributed the strong showing largely to a series of local and regional partnerships the network has made in emerging markets. Among those ventures are: a partnership with the Nigerian government to issue 13 million National Identity Cards equipped with a prepaid function; a mobile companion prepaid card with Beam Money in India; and a joint effort with the Central Bank of India and the State Government of Chhattisgarh to launch a student prepaid card for scholarship funds distribution.
But the growth wasn’t limited to emerging markets, noted MasterCard. The company partnered with Air New Zealand on OneSmart Card, a Paybefore Award-winning dual-faced loyalty/prepaid card, and with Australia’s Qantas to launch a frequent flyer membership card with prepaid function.
Moving forward, MasterCard expects the biggest international prepaid opportunity to come from China, which had the highest number of outbound tourists and the most overseas spending in the world last year, according to the UN World Tourism Association. “Coupled with the Chinese’ higher purchasing power, this presents an obvious need for electronic payments acceptance when abroad and multicurrency travel prepaid cards,” noted Jason Tymms, MasterCard’s head of prepaid for the APMEA regions.