Banking Analysts Hot on Prepaid Credit Cards, Cool on Mobile Payments
Alternative uses for credit card processing platforms dominated a recent roundtable discussion held by trade publication American Banker. Business services managers and industry analysts from prominent banks and brokerages, including Barclays and SunTrust, discussed innovations that both championed and challenged the banking establishment.

Prepaid credit cards and debit cards earned high marks from the panel for helping to deliver a higher caliber of financial services to poor and "unbanked" populations. Accessible from an ever-growing roster of retail locations, some prepaid credit cards recently added many bank-like features, including direct deposit and online bill payments. Panelists noted that traditional banks may want to revisit their approach to prepaid products, or risk losing market share to alternative card issuers.

Panelists at the roundtable also discussed the impact of mobile payment technology on the credit card industry. Mobile payments have become hugely popular in Europe and in Asia, but have failed to gain the same kind of traction in the United States. Panelists noted that Americans use phones differently than other cultures, preferring the familiarity of physical credit cards to text messaging services or online applications. The roundtable transcript is available in the May 26 issue of American Banker.

About the Author

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.