PrePay Solutions reveals top tips for using a prepaid travel card on holiday this Christmas

17 December 2014 - For groups of friends or families holidaying over the festive period, holiday budgets can be unnecessarily complicated. There are usually hotel, restaurant, and miscellaneous bills to be settled, which can lead to awkward verbal wrangling as to who picks up the tab, along with a string of promises as to who will ‘get the next one’. However, PrePay Solutions, Europe’s leading prepaid services company, today reveals that the answer may be as simple as purchasing a prepaid travel money card before leaving.

Ray Brash, CEO of PrePay Solutions, explains:

“Sharing costs associated with holidays can get complicated and travellers can use one travel card account with two separate cards as a means to manage designated spend while abroad. It is the safest way of taking travel money away with you this Christmas.”

Of course, there are many other reasons why individuals should consider using a prepaid card when travelling over the holidays:

  • Acceptance: A travel money card uses the MasterCard® Acceptance network and can be used in millions of locations around the world.
  • Foreign exchange: Prepaid cards offer competitive foreign currency exchange rates and often lock rates in. This keeps the cost of spending money abroad down and helps the user to budget.
  • No transaction charge: No fee is charged on purchases at shops and restaurants when using a prepaid card.
  • Security: Prepaid cards provide the safety of Chip and PIN, but are not directly linked to a bank account. This means that there is no fear of becoming overdrawn and if you should lose or have your card stolen, your bank account cannot be accessed.
  • Available to all: To qualify for a prepaid travel card there are no credit checks or financial requirements.

Ray Brash continues:

“A prepaid travel card is a safe, easy way to take the worry out of holiday spending money. You can load it throughout the year so that you know exactly how much you have to treat yourself while you are away. Through our work with the travel agent TUI, we have developed a travel money card supported by an online framework that takes the hassle out of the holiday expenditure and is available from over 750 UK travel agents.”

…ends…

PrePay Solutions is Europe's leading prepaid services company. It is jointly owned by Edenred, the world leader in prepaid corporate services, and MasterCard Worldwide, Europe’s leading prepaid network. Drawing on more than 13 years experience and the combined strengths of its shareholders, PrePay Solutions delivers excellence in prepaid.

PrePay Solutions offers a range of payment services including Transaction Processing, eWallet provision, Compliance and Fraud Services, Supply Chain management, Customer Services, Marketing and Programme Design.

The company is present in 22 countries and provides services to more than 50 blue chip organisations. It has clients across the retail, corporate, online, mobile, travel, and financial sectors, and delivers prepaid solutions to some of the largest global brands.

www.prepaysolutions.com

Contact
Holly Tyzack
Rostrum Communications
holly@rostrumpr.com
020 7440 8674

 

 

GIFT CARDS SET TO BOOM AS UK PREPARES FOR A THRIFTY CHRISTMAS

8 December 2014 - More People Than Ever Before Are Expected To Give Gift Cards As Presents This Christmas – What Do You Need To Know When Buying Yours?

Prepaid International Forum (PIF), a principal trade association for the prepaid card industry is helping businesses and consumers make informed choices when buying gift cards.

Last Christmas over 100 million gift cards were given as presents and in the last quarter of 2013 researchers reported double-digit growth for the majority of companies operating in the sector.

Alastair Graham, Co-Chairman of the forum‘s public relations committee, explains:

With gift cards and vouchers already worth over £5 billion in the UK, this Christmas industry experts expect to see £ 2.7 billion spent on such presents over the festive season.

Ironically, one of the reasons behind this growth is thought to be a cautiousness amongst consumers that is tempering growing consumer confidence.

Data from Deloitte* indicates that the key word for Christmas 2014 is going to be thrift. UK consumers are planning to reduce their overall expenditure compared to previous years and are less likely to be eating into savings or running up debts with their Christmas spending.

Gift cards are finding favour with Christmas shoppers as they reduce the chance of buying unwanted presents - 15% of the population say that they are more likely to increase their use of gift cards this year in order to ensure less waste this Christmas.

Availability and choice of cards is also greater than ever before, available from most large retail chains, from supermarket outlets and 11,500 Post Offices as well as online. Personalised printing also means that online orders can provide cards featuring photographs or personalised messages, making them a more appealing gift than ever before.

For many, gift cards are preferred over cash as a Christmas present, partly because they feel more like a gift. Cards can be gift-wrapped or personalised and are more likely to be used by the recipient as a treat, whereas cash gifts are often simply absorbed by everyday household expenses. Cards are also more secure in the event of being lost; they can be blocked and new ones issued, (it is important to keep hold of the receipt in case this happens).

So what types of prepaid gift cards will the nation be buying?

The big sellers over Christmas will be branded store gift cards, representing over 70% of the total gift cards sold to consumers in the UK. These are most often bought from brands people trust or as a gift for a person who knows exactly what they want to buy.

However, the fastest growing type of gift cards are those that can be used in multiple outlets, across high street retailers as well as through major online retailers such as Amazon.

In the last 3 months, sales of such cards have increased by 48%. These types of cards are often preferred because they give the recipient an almost unlimited choice of the type of present they can buy for themselves, from fashion, toys and electrical items through to DIY for home improvements and travel.

In the minds of many post-recessionary consumers they also offer greater security, not being limited to one retailer that might run into financial difficulties. The high profile insolvencies to established retailers just two years ago are still fresh in the public’s mind and therefore it’s understandable they are choosing to hedge their bets.

YouGov research** found that this was an important consideration for 69% of people considering buying a gift card which helps to explain their rising popularity.

Unlike single store gift cards, multi-store cards are regulated (under the EU E-Money regulation), which means there is a requirement for all the money on the cards to be ring-fenced. Therefore, should a company that has issued cards run into difficulties, the consumers’ money is still safe.

One area to consider when buying a gift card is to be sure of any fees that can be incurred. Most gift cards will have no upfront fees (in other words the amount you pay is the amount placed on the card as a present). However, some will carry fees that may be incurred over time.

As most gift cards are used within a few weeks or months of being received fees are rarely a feature but it’s always worth letting the person you are buying the gift card for know about them so that they don’t come into play.

Businesses are also contributing to the boom in gift card sales at Christmas, with many using them as festive rewards or bonuses for staff. 52% of sales for gift cards come from businesses, ranging from large corporates employing thousands of staff to small businesses with just a handful.

Research*** shows that using gift cards to say ‘thank you’ to workers has a huge impact on staff morale, loyalty and company reputation. For example, staff getting a Christmas bonus in 2014 will be significantly less likely to move to a different job in 2015. 71% of people surveyed said that they would actually turn down the chance of earning more money rather than leave a company that regularly thanks them for their efforts.

ENDS

 Notes to Editors

* The Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q3 2014

** YouGov Survey of 2031 UK adults

*** Usurv research of 1,000 workplaces across the UK

Facts about Gift Cards and Vouchers in the UK

  • The size of the UK market for gift cards and vouchers is currently estimated at £5 billion.
  • 48% of the market is made up of consumer sales, 52% sales to businesses.
  • 9 out of 10 consumer sales are for single brand cards (known as ‘closed loop’ accounts).
  • Cards regulated by the EU, requiring money loaded on the cards to be ring-fenced by the issuer, are open or restricted loop accounts (usable at multiple retail outlets) representing 6% of the current market.
  • All ‘closed loop’ gift cards, paper vouchers and evouchers are unregulated products.

About PIF

PIF is a global not-for-profit trade association established in 2007 to represent organisations involved in the supply of prepaid products and services. PIF acts as principal point of liaison between the industry and government agencies, regulators, consumer bodies and the media to promote the relevance and benefits of prepaid and e-money products. PIF is dedicated to the progression of the industry and acts as a catalyst for the development of sensible industry guidelines and codes of best practice. PIF members represent issuers of prepaid and e-money products, card schemes, payment processors and suppliers of services to the industry. To learn more about PIF visit www.prepaidforum.org

For further information

Steve Leigh
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07734 805 499
E: steve@pragencyone.co.uk

James Crawford
PR Agency One
T: 0161 871 9141
M: 07793 441 686
E: james@pragencyone.co.uk

 

Payments Awards 2014 Winners Announced

24 November 2014 - Prepaid International Forum (PIF) was proud to support the Payments Awards 2014. To view the winners and for more information visit: http://www.payments-awards.com/awards/index.php

Payment Systems Regulator releases Consultation Paper: A new regulatory framework for payment systems in the UK

13 November 2014 - The Payment Systems Regulator today released its Consultation Paper: A new regulatory framework for payment systems in the UK. The paper sets out the new regulator's proposed regulatory policies, procedures and approach.

The Consultation is open until 5pm on Monday, 12 January 2015. Learn more at: http://www.fca.org.uk/psr/our-consultation

House of Fraser extends contract with PrePay Solutions

3 November 2014 - House of Fraser, the UK and Ireland's premium department store group, has chosen to extend its existing partnership with PrePay Solutions, the European leader in prepaid services.

House of Fraser, recently acquired by Nanjing Cenbest, a chain of Chinese department stores in a deal noted to be China's largest foreign retail investment to date, has been working with PrePay Solutions for over six years. Since then, PrePay Solutions has used its innovative technology to manage House of Fraser's retail, loyalty and corporate gifting schemes in the UK and Ireland.

Ray Brash, CEO at PrePay Solutions, commented:

"We're delighted to extend our partnership with House of Fraser and to be recognised as a trusted partner. We are delighted that the quality of our service has been recognised by House of Fraser and we are proud to remain a preferred supplier after six years, and look forward to helping them advance their strategic goals. "

Simon Duncan, Director of External Business at House of Fraser, comments:

"Our decision to extend the partnership with PrePay Solutions was not only based on the success of the existing contract, but also on the firm's proven ability to deliver a consistent service that meets our business needs. We look forward to continuing our relationship with PrePay Solutions and working with the team to further develop our card programme strategies. "

...ends...

PrePay Solutions is Europe's leading prepaid services company. It is jointly owned by Edenred, the world leader in prepaid corporate services, and MasterCard Worldwide, Europe's leading prepaid network. Drawing on more than 13 years' experience and the combined strengths of its shareholders, PrePay solutions delivers excellence in prepaid.

PrePay Solutions offers a range of payment services including Transaction Processing, eWallet provision, BIN sponsorship, Compliance and Fraud Services, Supply Chain management, Customer Services, Marketing and Programme Design.

The company is present in 26 countries and provides services to more than 50 blue chip organisations. It has clients across the retail, corporate, online, mobile, travel, and financial sectors and delivers prepaid solutions to some of the largest global brands.

About House of Fraser

House of Fraser is the leading, national premium department store group in the UK and Ireland trading principally under the iconic House of Fraser brand name through a portfolio of 61 well-invested stores, as well as through its rapidly growing web-store, www.houseoffraser.co.uk and two Houseoffraser.com concept stores. House of Fraser also has one store in Abu Dhabi trading under a franchise agreement with its partner, Retail Arabia and recently announced the planned opening of its second store on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, scheduled for opening in 2015.

The House of Fraser brand is differentiated from other department stores groups in the UK by its 165 year history in the UK retail market, its wide geographical reach (across the UK and on-line), its broad range of high quality premium branded merchandise offered at competitive prices, its increasing exclusive House Brand offering and its commitment to providing an imaginative, exciting and relevant shopping experience to our customers.

www.PrePaysolutions.com

 

 

 

PrePay Solutions wins multiple awards at the Emerging Payments Awards 2014

27 October 2014 - PrePay Solutions, Europe’s leading prepaid services company, has been confirmed by the Emerging Payments Awards as the Best Prepaid Service Provider UK, for the third year in a row. The company has also been recognised as the Leading Global Prepaid Organisation.

Not only did PrePay Solutions pick up two very prestigious industry awards, one of its clients, Portuguese retailer, Sonae, won Best Global Prepaid Gift Programme for its successful gift card, “Sonae - Cartão Dá”. PrePay Solutions facilitates all processing for Sonae.

Further to this, PrePay Solutions processes the card programmes for other finalists, Ticketmaster, Debenhams and ‘EE Cash on Tap’, which were also nominated for two awards.

PrePay Solutions provides a range of global prepaid services ranging from gift cards to mobile payments applications and works with companies from several vertical markets including retail, financial services, telecoms, and leisure.

The Emerging Payments Awards acknowledges top quality payment people and programmes. It currently judges and recognises the leading figures from the industry across UK, France, Canada, India and South Africa.

Ray Brash, Managing Director of PrePay Solutions, said:

“The Emerging Payments Awards recognises and rewards payment innovation and excellence and we’re very happy to be recognised along with our partners for our efforts to lead the industry in creating products and services that make everyday financial processes that little bit more intuitive.”

We’re very proud to win Best Prepaid Service Provider UK for the third year running and very excited to win the Leading Global Prepaid Organisation, confirming our international strengths. This reflects the great results the team has achieved across the prepaid industry for several years in the UK and globally. We’re also delighted that our clients were finalists in the gifting and emerging payment categories, it is always a great reward for me and my team to see our global clients picking up such prestigious awards.”

Brash continued:

“The Emerging Payments Awards were created to honour the companies and individuals that not only offer innovation, but also provide practical solutions that meet the everyday requirements of businesses. I believe this approach has led us to this point and I look forward to working with the team on the next generation of challenges.”

…ends…

Annabel Banks
Senior Associate
Rostrum Communications
First Floor
102-108 Clerkenwell Road
London
EC1M 5SA

e: annabel@rostrumpr.com
t: +44 (0)207 440 8679 m: +44 (0)7867 330 110

 

Money20/20 Announces Launch of Money20/20Europe

21 October 2014 - Money20/20Europe Designed to be a Eurocentric Global Catalyst Enabling Payments & Financial Services Innovation for Connected Commerce. Download the full press release

NetSpend to Present at PayThink

14 October 2014 - AUSTIN, Texas - NetSpend, a TSYS® company, announced today that Patrick Brown, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Commercial Prepaid, and Romy Parzick, Head of Customer Impact Initiatives, will both speak at the upcoming PayThink Forum, October 20-22, in Pheonix, Arizona. The theme of this year's conference is "Rethink Payments".

Brown will present during an Industry Innovation Luncheon on Tuesday, October 21, at 12:00 p.m. PST. With industry reports continuing to show greater shifts among consumers from traditional financial institutions to alternative payment options, many companies are following suit in opting for alternative solutions for a wide variety of corporate payments and expenses. Brown, leveraging the insights and expertise of NetSpend, will discuss these market shifts and the growing opportunities for companies to better manage expenses, offer employees an additional meaningful benefit, and grow their business using commercial prepaid products.

Parzick will take part in a panel discussion, titled "Navigating New Frontiers in Prepaid," on Wednesday, October 22, at 10:15 a.m. PST. She will engage in a conversation around the evolution of prepaid cards into increasingly sophisticated financial tools that meet the needs of a variety of consumers. Parzick will also offer her perspective on the future of the prepaid.

The conference will be held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit: http://www.paymentssource.com/conferences/paythink/ .

About TSYS

At TSYS® (NYSE: TSS), we believe payments should revolve around people, not the other way around. We call this belief "People-Centered Payments®." By putting people at the center of every decision we make, TSYS supports financial institutions, businesses and governments in more than 80 countries. Through NetSpend®, A TSYS Company, we empower consumers with the convenience, security, and freedom to be self-banked. TSYS offers issuer services and merchant payment acceptance for credit, debit, prepaid, healthcare and business solutions.

TSYS' headquarters are located in Columbus, Ga., USA., with local offices spread across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. TSYS is a member of The Civic 50 and has been named one of the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere magazine. TSYS routinely posts all important information on its website. For more, please visit us at www.tsys.com

Contacts:

Cyle Mims
TSYS Media Relations
+1.706.644.3110
cylemims@tsys.com

Shawn Roberts
TSYS Investor Relations
+1.706.644.6081
shawnroberts@tsys.com

PrePay Solutions launches virtual open-loop card initiative for P&MM

8 October 2014 - PrePay Solutions, the European leader in prepaid services, today announces that it will be providing the payment technology for P&MM’s virtual open-loop card, known as eSpree. P&MM, the industry renowned marketing services company, will be launching eSpree under the umbrella of its existing Spree programme.

E-Spree is a prepaid virtual gift card run on the MasterCard® platform redeemable online, which businesses can use as part of their engagement programmes. Non cash awards can be delivered globally for Incentive, Recognition and promotions. This will enable recipients to instantly redeem their virtual card online without having to wait for a gift card or voucher to be sent or physically issued.

PrePay Solutions first began working with P&MM in 2007, and this new virtual programme is part of the long-standing relationship between the two companies that will contribute to a broad range of new technologies and solutions.

John Sylvester, Executive Director at P&MM, comments:

We are hugely excited to be at the forefront of yet another technological advance. Using virtual prepaid cards across our programmes will enable us to deliver instant, low cost, engaging awards as part of UK and International programmes.

Ray Brash, Managing Director and Chairman, PrePay Solutions, comments:

“This new project with P&MM shows our commitment to further expanding our range of digital products and solutions and underlines the increasing market trend for instant issue virtual cards that can be redeemed online within merchants mobile and ecommerce platforms. P&MM’s virtual card will satisfy this need perfectly, as it is extremely user-friendly and practical.

“Our successful partnership with P&MM is testament to both companies’ teams, processes and strategies and we are looking forward to working on the growth of this project together.”

…ends…

PrePay Solutions is Europe's leading prepaid services company. It is jointly owned by Edenred, the world leader in prepaid corporate services, and MasterCard Worldwide, Europe’s leading prepaid network. Drawing on more than 10 years experience and the combined strengths of its shareholders, PrePay Solutions delivers excellence in prepaid.

PrePay Solutions offers a range of payment services including Transaction Processing, eWallet provision, Compliance and Fraud Services, Supply Chain management, Customer Services, Marketing and Programme Design.

The company is present in 22 countries and provides services to more than 50 blue chip organisations. It has clients across the retail, corporate, online, mobile, travel, and financial sectors, and delivers prepaid solutions to some of the largest global brands.

www.prepaysolutions.com

Contact

Holly Tyzack
Rostrum Communications
holly@rostrumpr.com
020 7440 8674