“SAO PAULO, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Brazil’s first reloadable prepaid card for everyday purchases launches today in participating PanAmericano stores announced Banco PanAmericano, MasterCard and Rev Worldwide. The PanAmericano MasterCard Prepaid Card is the only general purpose reloadable prepaid card available in Brazil today and does not limit the card’s use to specific transactions like existing prepaid products.
With no proof of income or credit check required, the PanAmericano Prepaid Card offers a convenient and affordable cash alternative to Brazil’s unbanked population, an estimated 75 million people. Customers who buy and load cash on the card can make purchases online and anywhere in Brazil or abroad where MasterCard is accepted, withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide, transfer funds between card accounts and use the integrated mobile features to check balances and confirm transactions from their mobile phones with a simple text message.
“Brazil’s rapid economic development has lifted the living standards of millions of its citizens, but many Brazilians still do not have access to basic banking services. Prepaid cards in other markets have proven an excellent alternative for promoting financial inclusion among these consumers since the cards do not require proof of income or a credit check,” said Eliel Teixeira de Almeida, Banco PanAmericano’s Director of Card Products.
The percentage of Brazilians who do not use banking services is close to 40 percent according to IPEA, an economic think tank in Brazil, and 55 percent of employees in Brazil are paid in cash shows recent research from the Brazilian Central Bank.”
MasterCard has certainly found a solid program manager in Rev Worldwide. This group now has programs in Brazil, Kosovo, Mexico, Romania, and the U.S.
“”The launch with PanAmericano represents a strategic move for MasterCard since the prepaid card is an ideal instrument for financial inclusion that allows unbanked consumers to access the electronic payments network. In addition, it’s the right time to introduce the card – the prepaid market is in full swing in Latin America and today represents a US $12 billion market opportunity that could reach up to US $80 billion by 2017,” said Marcelo Tangioni, Vice President of Products at MasterCard.
“It is worth pointing out this is one of the first MasterCard launches in the prepaid segment in Brazil, and we see this as a significant market with tremendous opportunities to explore over the coming years in the government, corporate and retail segments,” Tangioni added.
“Our experience in markets around the world is demonstrating that the combination of prepaid cards and mobile phones offers a powerful mechanism for bringing more consumers into the mainstream financial system by delivering flexible, safe and accessible cash alternatives to consumers who need them most,” said Roy Sosa, Chairman and CEO, Rev Worldwide. “With the industry’s only global, fully integrated platform for card and mobile payments, we give cardholders the ability to manage their funds anytime, anywhere via the mobile phone and can quickly and easily add mobile features that go beyond balance inquiries and transaction alerts to top-ups, bill pay and remittance.”
Rev Worldwide develops, operates and markets integrated prepaid card and mobile payments programs that bring accessible, affordable financial services to consumers worldwide. Founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa in 2008, the company has launched prepaid programs in Brazil, Kosovo, Mexico, Romania and the U.S.”
The press release also discussed some of the Ts and Cs associated with the product:
“Consumers over 18 with a valid CPF number and government-issued photo identification can purchase the card from participating PanAmericano stores throughout Brazil for R$5, no proof of income or credit check required. With the PanAmericano MasterCard Prepaid Card, cardholders can make purchases online and in more than 30 million locations in the MasterCard network, withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide, transfer funds between accounts, and monitor their spending and account balance via their mobile phones or the online account center. To reload funds, cardholders can visit any location in Brazil that accepts Boleto Bancario, and in the near future, any of 20,000 agent, lottery and other correspondent locations in the CAIXA network. For more information on card features, fees and participating PanAmericano stores, visit www.prepagopanamericano.com.br.”
In Mercator’s 2010 Global Prepaid Ranking Report, Brazil was identified as one of the leaders among emerging markets for prepaid with an estimated 22.8 billion in the space. Mercator will release the 2011 update to this research this year.