Pre-paid cards continued to see strong growth by all measures in 2019. The benefits that come with pre-paid cards are very similar to credit and debit cards, providing reward points or product discounts for consumers.
Open loop pre-paid cards are predominantly used for transportation, although they are becoming more flexible, leading to higher demand. Pre-paid Touch ‘n Go public transportation cards are spurring demand, especially as the public bus company in the Klang Valley, RapidKL, announced its plans to go cashless in 2019.
Pre-paid cards have become part of the country’s effort to create a cashless society. Merchants are taking advantage of this and creating customised pre-paid cards that promote brand identity amongst consumers.
Strategic third-party partnerships are being created to enhance competitiveness. For instance, the CIMB Bank Lazada Prepaid Mastercard offers standard cashback of 0.
Visa and Mastercard remain leading networks in pre-paid cards, with American Express accounting for a minor share. The absence of these operators in closed loop pre-paid cards does not seem to have had a major effect, as the growth of open loop pre-paid cards has been and is expected to continue to be more aggressive.
BigPay was launched in 2018, which is an e-wallet with accompanying pre-paid card. This allows customers to shop both online and offline in numerous outlets, as it is co-badged with Mastercard as the operator, so it can be used to pay in any outlets which accept Mastercard.
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