Prepaid Card Use and Lifespan Detailed in Federal Reserve Report

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has a published a report that examines what prepaid card holders do with their cards based a data set of more than 280 million transactions provided by MetaBank. The report was co-authored with the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

We report detailed statistics on the longevity of prepaid cards and the intensity of their use, including the frequency and value of spending, the composition of spending at merchants, ATM withdrawals, and reloading of value onto cards. We identify cards that are likely enrolled in direct deposit and contrast usage of those cards with other cards in the data. We calculate statistics on revenues earned via consumer fees and the composition of those fees. We also estimate interchange revenues earned and thus quantify the significance of this funding source to the prepaid business model.

The report is an excellent examination of card purchase activity, ATM use, and the length that people hold their cards. Because the data was anonymous, there is no information on demographics. Still, this study provides an excellent segmentation of cardholder behavior by types of cards.

Click here to download the report from the PaymentsJournal library.