Even before the global pandemic, some of the countries in Europe already had high adoption of prepaid card solutions. However, the adoption rate increased significantly during the pandemic period. According to the recent survey, it has come out that consumers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden are getting more influenced to use prepaid cards during this period.
Consumers across most of the countries showed positive behavior towards cashless payment options such as prepaid payment instruments. For instance, despite the high usage of cash in Italy, the global pandemic led to the growing adoption of prepaid cards and other digital payment methods. Notably, nearly 65% of the consumers in the country tried using prepaid payment instruments such as PayPal.
Government disbursement through prepaid cards supporting the market growth:
Government organizations from around the world are increasingly using prepaid card solutions to disburse benefits, incentives, and financial aid to their citizens. Similar trends are visible in Europe, which is supporting the growth of the prepaid card industry in Europe.
The UK Government partnered with Tesco Bank in March 2020 to offer free meals to 1.3 million eligible children in the country through prepaid cards. As part of the initiative, each eligible child received prepaid supermarket vouchers worth £15 per week. The collaboration between the UK Government and Tesco Bank is supporting more than 22,500 schools and has helped provide more than 62 million meals through the prepaid vouchers as of April 2021. These initiatives, coupled with other prepaid card programs, have helped Tesco Bank to record £0.5billion in gift card sales.
Strategic partnership to expand prepaid card usage among consumers across Europe:
To further boost the growth of the prepaid card industry in the region, global payments firms and card processing networks are collaborating and partnering to expand prepaid card usage among consumers across Europe.
In February 2021, CleverCards and MasterCard entered into a strategic agreement to expand the adoption of prepaid card solutions across Europe while simplifying the payments value chain. Under the strategic partnership, CleverCards is using the core digital platform offered by MasterCard to enable businesses to bypass the intermediary card issuing processes and instead send a digital prepaid card directly to the mobile number or email address.
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