The value of transactions made over prepaid cards will exceed $4.1trn globally in 2026, up from $2.3trn in 2021, according to a study from Juniper Research.
Juniper said that by 2026, prepaid card transaction values will be just over 50% higher than that forecast for contactless payment transactions. The growth in prepaid cards will be driven by the ongoing replacement of cash, as economies move increasingly towards digital payments, the company explained.
The research, Prepaid Cards: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, identified prepaid cards as being critical to ensuring that the unbanked are included in the rush for digital payments.
The research also recommended that vendors focus on building robust distribution platforms that can cope with issuing cards at scale and at low cost, or they will lose out to better equipped vendors.
Moreover, Juniper said that while US will account for over 43% of global transaction values in 2026, there are other significant opportunities emerging. China, for example, is seeing increasing prepaid use, and as international tourism recovers, prepaid cards for travel money can benefit. Emerging markets are also a key area of interest and platforms would do well to exploit future opportunities.
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