nFinanSe Inc. said today it was reducing the retail price of its Reloadable Prepaid Card to $3 from $5.95 effective July 1. This reduction matches a change that Wal-Mart announced recently when it reduced the price of its reloadable card from $8.94 to $3.00.
The company said it believes that this reduction in price has the potential to ignite consumer interest in reloadable prepaid cards and encourage the trial and usage among the 73 million Americans who are cash based and who do not have a traditional banking relationship.
After the price change, nFinanSe will offer its Reloadable Cards through major retailers with a $3.00 initial sales price, and continue its low $2.95 monthly maintenance fee, $2.95 reload fee, free 24/7 customer service and free direct deposit.
“Although there are 73 million American consumers in need of a reloadable prepaid card, there are substantially less than 10 million active cardholders nationally. We believe that this is a direct result of the high fees that most reloadable prepaid cards have carried: $9.95 initial sales price, $4.95 monthly maintenance fee and $4.95 reload fee,” said Jerry Welch, chairman and CEO of nFinanSe.
“Our goal is to price our product in a way that encourages mass market trial and usage. As a former retailer myself, I understand that retailers feel that they have an obligation to provide choice and selection for their customers. We want to provide to major retailers a comparably priced product to Wal-Mart’s reloadable prepaid card so that they can incorporate it into the mix of prepaid cards they offer their customers.”
Analysts predict a doubling of the reloadable prepaid marketplace from $7 billion currently to $14 billion in 2011, driven by greater penetration of the unbanked/underbanked population as well as increasing acceptance by individuals who find themselves maxed out on their credit cards and in need of an electronic payment tool for use in online and catalog shopping.
“In the last few weeks, we have announced initiatives to provide valuable consumer coupons to our cardholders on their mobile phones through a collaboration with RocketBux, a $7.77 incentive for having cardholders directly deposit their paycheck on our Reloadable Prepaid Card and now a reduction in the retail sales price of our card,” Welch said. “We are focused on creating a mass-market reloadable prepaid card, which we hope will empower millions of Americans by allowing them to participate fully and more effectively in our consumer economy.”
nFinanSe’s Discover Network branded reloadable prepaid cards are currently available at approximately 10,000 retail stores nationwide including Mapco Express Convenience Stores, Dollar General and Winn-Dixie.