SunTrust and MasterCard Offer a Prepaid Card to University Students

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

SunTrust Banks Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide announced on April 27, that they have launched the SunTrust Campus Card that combines an open-loop prepaid card with a student identification card for college campuses. While hardly the first company to get into this market, SunTrust seems to be part of a new wave of interest in this segment.

With this new campus card, universities and colleges will now be able to offer their students access to a reloadable prepaid account to pay for everyday expenses on and, in some instances, off campus, while benefiting from the flexibility and security of a reloadable prepaid card. In the instance of off campus use, students will be able to use the SunTrust Campus Card to make purchases at millions of locations where MasterCard cards are accepted or withdraw funds without a fee from more than 2,900 SunTrust ATMs. Safer and more convenient than cash, the prepaid card will also provide students greater security and control over their finances.

In its most recent open-loop prepaid card benchmark, Mercator Advisory Group found that $1.3 billion were loaded onto campus cards of all types (including corporate campuses) in 2009. As we prepare to undertake benchmark research for the 2010 calendar year, it seems as though the interest in this segment may push the total loads beyond our forecasted 25 percent growth. However, the adoption of these cards may face hurdles in that many students arrive at college with bank accounts, reducing the need for them to have prepaid cards.

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Read the press release here.