Complex Made Simple

Global access drives prepaid appeal

Regional and global demand for new consumer experiences is driving the popularity of prepaid as a practical, transparent and cost-effective international payment gateway for both business and individuals, according to Douglas Blakey, Group Editor Consumer Finance at leading business information provider, Timetric Financial Services.

“The most attractive feature of the prepaid model is its global accessibility and usability. Prepaid can work across all levels of market maturity. This can offer a huge boost to emerging markets, and its flexible nature means that card ability can be easily tailored to specific market demands and indeed the need of the user,” Blakey explained.

He was talking ahead of region’s fifth annual conference dedicated to the prepaid sector, Prepaid Summit: Middle East scheduled to place in Dubai’s Conrad Hotel on March 19. It is set to explore everything prepaid, including the development of mobile wallets, opportunities and threats, best practices and projects as well as throw light on how to deliver quality customer service beyond expectation.

“As the sector grows we see entry from both banks and non-banks. To support growth it is important that the industry must focus efforts on collecting statistical data to ensure informed investment decisions are made to avoid any risk that may arise in the sector and the market in general,” explained Blakey.

He stressed that research is particularly important in the Middle East and Africa where little is available, so that sector marketers can better understand the true market dynamics.

Globally, prepaid payment options are on the increase as they provide users who are unbanked, under-banked as well as traditional banking customers with a safe and secure payment solution.

“Some of the projected product categories for general banked consumers include consumer travel, healthcare accounts, gifts, online and incentives. For instance the travel sector is seeing an uptake as prepaid is a more convenient and safer alternative for travellers.

“In fact, organisations and even governments, benefit from a streamlined payment process which features extended control, reduces attempts of fraud and exercises greater transparency and flexibility,” added Blakey.

More than 150 industry leaders will listen to the summit’s speaker line-up representing companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Al Fardan Exchange, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates Islamic, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and other leading financial organisations in the MENA region. Visa is again supporting the event as title sponsor.