Prepaid cards are reportedly increasing in popularity and are expected to grow to a $6.8 trillion industry by 2030.
Prepaid cards are different from old-fashioned stored-value cards (SVCs). SVCs are used for specific travel situations, such as railway or parking, prepaid phone needs, or gift cards. Generally, SVCs are one-use, closed-loop cards, meaning the funds are stored on the card instead of the card issuer’s system and the funds will not get renewed.
Proponents of prepaid cards say they offer greater versatility of function, serving as debit accounts that can be used by businesses, nonprofits, or government agencies to cover expenses and provide guaranteed income and rewards.
Usio Inc. USIO has worked in the prepaid card market for over 10 years. Usio is a fintech company offering integrated payment solutions, providing services in everything from payment facilitation and ACH processing to electronic bill presentment and payment to funds disbursement through their card issuing platform. It says its prepaid card offerings are especially suited to businesses and other organizations seeking to move away from costly physical checks and payments toward a more streamlined and digital model.
“Akimbo” Turnkey Platform Leads Usio’s Prepaid Service
Serving businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and more, Usio says their prepaid card issuing and program management platform, which they call Akimbo, is a turnkey platform for the creation and management of funds disbursement — it provides fund management via prepaid cards that are adaptable to a host of needs and use cases, including promotions, business expense management, rewards and incentives, contractor payroll, emergency relief and more.
Akimbo provides cards both physical and virtual cards, sent via email or text, to increase adoption, flexibility, and ease of access. The RESTful application programming interface (API) app means that each organization can customize its Akimbo options according to its financial needs.
Usio also reported getting involved in disbursing funds for a COVID-19 relief fund for New York City through the City Possible Initiative in partnership with MasterCard MA. Over 200 institutions, both civic and charitable, are part of this collaboration, and Usio is helping these groups provide relief funds to those who need it most across the country.
The guaranteed-income program is reportedly continuing to grow as more sponsors are added to the list of municipalities. They claim that their easy-to-use interface, with remotely reloadable cards, merchant category code restrictions that limit guarantee how the money is spent, and data reporting on card usage that allows seamless updates, all provide a streamlined and integrated disbursement experience. Usio saw a total of $188 million loaded onto prepaid cards in 2021, a revenue increase of 107% over 2020.
Both physical and virtual cards, and funds on the cards, can be provisioned in mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, a service of Apple Inc. AAPL, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, provided by Alphabet Inc. GOOGL.
“On behalf of the entire Usio team, I want to express my sincere gratitude and our steadfast commitment to these organizations who have entrusted us with this important responsibility,” Houston Frost, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Prepaid Services, said about Usio’s success. “We have become recognized across the county as having the ability to quickly develop customized solutions that meet the distinct requirements of various cash assistance, incentive, and general funds disbursement programs.”
To learn more about Usio, visit usio.com.
To learn more about Akimbo, visit akimbocard.com.
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