Even though open loop pre-paid cards do not have a large presence within the category, these cards enjoy a certain level of popularity in Spain, and their presence is expected to expand further. Away from the mainstream, some online express credit companies market open loop pre-paid cards, such as Viabuy or MoneyToPay.
The majority of growth in pre-paid cards in the forecast period is expected to be driven by closed loop pre-paid cards. Transportation cards are becoming more popular due to major cities withdrawing traditional transport tickets.
Retailers are increasingly offer electronic gift cards and reducing the number of plastic formats in circulation.
The competitive landscape within pre-paid cards is fragmented and characterised by a large number of players. Important players within transport pre-paid cards include the Barik card for Vizcaya Province in the Basque region and Tarjeta Transporte Público from Consorcio de Transportes Madrid.
Although there are a large variety of pre-paid cards available in Spain, innovation and different rewards for customers are two of the most differentiating characteristics. For example, Correos España (the national post service) launched a co-branded limited edition of its pre-paid card for the Camino de Santiago (a famous pilgrim route in North of Spain) with an exclusive design.
Open loop pre-paid cards are not exclusively issued by banks – they can also be requested from financial companies. Thanks to digitalisation in the industry, it is no longer necessary to go to a branch to request a new card.
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