Prepaid products provide an alternative way to pay for goods and services.
Prepaid products such as cards are pre-loaded with funds that can be used to make payments in store and online and in some cases to withdraw cash from ATMs. You can only spend what you have loaded onto the card.
Prepaid products can be used as an alternative to a traditional bank account or in place of cash or a debit or credit card while travelling. Prepaid products are also used by businesses to manage expenses and by governments to disburse benefits.
Prepaid products are generally termed 'closed' or 'open' loop. A closed loop card can be exchanged for goods and services only in a limited and pre-defined number of outlets, for example, store cards, fuel cards or transport cards. In contrast, open loop cards are branded by one of the card schemes (e.g. Mastercard or Visa) and can be used at multiple locations around the world.
Prepaid products can be reloadable or non-reloadable. In general non-reloadable or single-use cards are purchased or issued with a fixed value pre-loaded onto the card and cannot be 'topped-up'. Examples include gift cards or cards issued as part of an employee reward or incentive scheme. Examples of reloadable cards include travel money cards or payroll cards which can be reloaded with funds as needed and used for everyday purchases.
All references to prepaid products on this website are regarded as broad stroke references to scheme branded, open loop, closed or restricted loop, paper gift vouchers, paper certificates, gift cards, e-vouchers, digital vouchers, mobile gift vouchers or mobile gift cards along with other devices which are collectively regarded as ‘prepaid’.