Vantiv President Royal Cole: CUs should take advantage of prepaid trend

VantivVantiv President Royal Cole said on Monday that consumers aged 18 to 34 have become increasingly interested in prepaid cards and that credit unions should take advantage of the growing trend.

Vantiv is the preferred partner for ATM and debit card processing and credit card processing for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. One of the nation’s oldest and largest processing providers, Vantiv provides processing to more than 2,300 financial institutions.

Cole discussed EMV trends and increasing acceptance by consumers of prepaid cards during an address before attendees of NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus. He pointed to Vantiv research that showed 23 percent of consumers purchased a prepaid card as a checking account replacement—a 16 percent increase from last year’s survey.

Additionally, Cole said 32 percent of survey respondents said they view prepaid cards as a replacement for traditional checking accounts, adding that if credit unions hope to tap into the market, they should consider that a majority of CU members are mobile-enabled, more than 80 percent of consumers under age 35 own a smartphone and many CU members are new users who will increase their use of mobile banking over time.

Cole pointed to the same survey, which showed that approximately half of bank and credit union customers would rather obtain prepaid products from their primary institutions.

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