Visa Launches Campaign Promoting Prepaid Card Benefits for Financially Underserved Consumers

July 15, 2010 at 8:03 AM EDT
Integrated Marketing Campaign to Raise Consumer Awareness, Drive Usage and Support Growth of Visa Partner Programs


Visa Inc.(NYSE: V) today announced the first phase of a national marketing campaign to raise consumer awareness about the benefits of using reloadable prepaid debit cards instead of cash for purchases. The campaign is designed to reach financially underserved consumers in particular - those without a traditional banking relationship, access to a payment card or mainstream financial services, and who rely heavily on cash for everyday transactions. According to Visa estimates, there are approximately 80 million financially underserved consumers in the U.S. alone.


The campaign brings to life how Visa prepaid debit cards can enable better money management and empower consumers looking for an alternative to a cash-and-carry lifestyle. The fundamental messages of the campaign focus on core product values, including:


  • Control - enabling consumers to manage their spending on their terms
  • Convenience - the ability to make purchases online, at retailers - even to pay bills
  • Security - safer than cash and registered cards are replaceable if lost or stolen
  • Access - easy, timely access to their money through direct deposit


The multi-channel campaign integrates social media, mobile, digital, grassroots events, and radio advertising, as well as in-store demonstrations, displays, and promotions. Digital media is a central element of the campaign. Online display ads provide direct access to purchasing cards online through Visa partners, and social media enables consumers to connect as a community through the Visa Prepaid Debit Facebook page ( In-store demonstrations and local events provide an opportunity for personal interaction with consumers, where product experts explain how reloadable prepaid cards work, and help consumers apply for a card onsite.

"Core to this campaign is Visa's ability to reach consumers who may not realize they can enjoy the benefits of a Visa product, and experience a better alternative to a cash-and-carry lifestyle," said Hyung Choi, head of U.S. prepaid products, Visa Inc. "The campaign builds upon Visa's long-standing commitment to extending financial inclusion to more consumers, while at the same time driving opportunities for Visa, our partners and clients."

Research by the Mercator Advisory Group shows that the majority of consumers do not make full use of the opportunities provided by prepaid cards. "Our CustomerMonitor Survey Series conducted in 2009, documented the fact that only a very small number of the unbanked and underserved have purchased or reloaded a general purpose reloadable prepaid card in the last 12 months," said Tim Sloane, director of the Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator. "This clearly demonstrates that the industry has a significant opportunity to more strongly communicate the benefits of prepaid cards to consumers, as compared to alternatives that include cash and alternative other financial services offerings."

For more than a decade, Visa has invested in growing the prepaid category in the U.S. and around the world. Visa's flexible platform enables a diverse set of prepaid products meeting highly specific needs supported by technology enhancements and services, prepaid processing and a global infrastructure that ensures interoperability and consistency. With a focus on migrating paper-based programs and processes to electronic forms of payment, Visa has established more than 10,000 Visa prepaid programs in 110 countries, delivering greater convenience, choice and security to consumers, businesses and governments. Access to electronic payments can help empower financially underserved individuals, providing more choice and greater control over their money and enabling their inclusion in the financial mainstream. Additionally, Visa partners with leading consumer advocates, educators and financial institutions to encourage responsible, informed use of digital currency through its financial literacy programs.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Kate Mulhearn, 650-432-1113