Alternative Finances

Wirecard Brings New Prepaid Visa Card To Market

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German payments firm Wirecard announced Wednesday (March 2) the launch of its new Visa prepaid card called mycard2go.

The product is issued by Wirecard Bank AG and is the first Visa Simply One combined card, featuring the capability of a traditional credit card but also that of a V PAY debit card. The mycard2go card keeps transactions secure with PIN entry and global acceptance. Users of the mycard2go prepaid card will have the ability to make cashless payments at over 24 million Visa acceptance points, Wirecard said.

“The mycard2go prepaid card offers state-of-the-art functionality. In developing these features, the focus was on the needs of end consumers. We look forward to consistently further developing the product in collaboration with our customers and partners in the coming years,” Alexander von Knoop, executive board member at Wirecard Bank, stated in a press release. “Our goal is to establish our appealing prepaid Visa card solution throughout Europe in tandem with retail partners.”

Consumers will be able to obtain a mycard2go prepaid Visa card at various outlets across Germany and can top off the cards with cash. Activation of the card can take place via SMS or online.

Albrecht Kiel, regional managing director of Central Europe at Visa, adds: “Our objective is to fulfill the needs of our customers by leveraging innovations. Our collaboration with Wirecard has enabled this. We are delighted to launch the mycard2go prepaid Visa card solution, a modern product which also represents the first Simply One Visa solution on the market.”

General purpose reloadable (GPR) or prepaid cards remain a popular payment option among consumers, especially unbanked cardholders who tend to use those cards like checking accounts.

Last year, Pew Charitable Trusts released a report, titled “Banking on Prepaid,” in which research showed that 23 million adults regularly use GPR prepaid cards across the U.S. Those cards let holders load funds using either cash or direct deposit activity as their source. Then, the cards can be used at ATMs or at retail locations to make direct purchases.

Pew said its findings reflect an increased use of prepaid cards, with a 50 percent jump logged between 2012 and 2014. Key drivers came from a growing use of the cards among those respondents with bank accounts; they tended to get their prepaid cards at either banks or credit unions. Demographically speaking, Pew noted, these users had higher incomes than did unbanked prepaid cardholders.

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