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Visa highlights growth at Prepaid Summit: Middle East 2012

96% of delegates are considering launching a prepaid mobile payment product into the market

Manama, 9th April 2012: Visa, one of the world’s leading payment solutions providers, has highlighted the level of innovation in the Middle East prepaid market following the annual Prepaid Summit: Middle East 2012. The event reinforces prepaid products as one of the most exciting categories in the payments industry today, and highlights Visa’s commitment to growing the segment in the region.

Attended by influential players in the prepaid industry, the Dubai-based Summit covered the latest regional and international research on the progress of the prepaid market and its expected advances in the future. Innovation, and more specifically, increased distribution and a diversified product offering, continued to fuel growth in all markets researched.

Delegates at the three-day event enjoyed presentations covering a range of industry topics, such as how to promote customer awareness through education, the latest innovations in contactless, loyalty schemes and payment channels.

The summit included an audience voting system to canvas the opinion of over 100 attending industry experts, of whom an overwhelming majority (96 per cent) is considering offering prepaid as part of the mobile payments strategy. Of those polled, 38 per cent also confirmed plans to launch a mobile payments product, while a further 25 per cent said they are considering opportunities in the market.

When asked which specific mobile prepaid product they are most likely to offer within the next six to nine months, more than a fifth (22 per cent) of respondents said virtual prepaid cards, with almost the same number of respondents (20 per cent) saying they are more likely to offer a prepaid remittance card product.

With many organisations looking to launch mobile prepaid payment products in the region in the near future, 40 per cent of summit participants agreed that not defining revenue opportunities properly could prevent or delay this from happening soon. Another 45 per cent said banks should do more in terms of understanding the mobile and prepaid payment construct to pave the way for the implementation of mobile platforms in the Middle East.

Richard Bialek, Head of Prepaid for Visa in the Middle East and North Africa, said in his opening speech: “Visa has helped to pioneer this growing payment segment in the region by working with leading financial institutions to introduce prepaid into their portfolio of products.

“The success of these efforts and the demand for prepaid products saw this form of payment grow by more than 70 per cent in Asia Pacific Central Europe Middle East and Africa markets last year, with GCC and the rest of the Middle East growing around 31 per cent during the 2011 commercial year.”

Bialek added: “Visa’s network connects cardholders, merchants, governments and financial institutions in more than 200 countries. This, coupled with our expertise in innovation and developing new secure, convenient and reliable electronic payments systems, further aids our ability to meet increasing demand for prepaid.”

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