Friday, March 4, 2011

“Progress in Prepaid” Series Asks: To Swipe, Or Not To Swipe?

A look at mobile migration, fraud, closed- and open-loop convergence, and the technological crossroads impeding progress

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

You’ve arrived just in time for an in-flight podcast. Fasten your seatbelts!

With less than a weekend standing between us and Prepaid Expo 2011, I would like to offer some fodder for the numerous networking conversations you’re about to have.

My guarantee to you:
Not only will episode four – a two-part podcast interview for IIR’s “Progress in Prepaid” series – lend a spark to many a smart, caffeinated exchange, BUT as an added bonus, you air travelers can forgo that inane in-flight movie and stimulate your brains, instead!

Episode four of “Progress in Prepaid” features a two-part interview with Jonathan Treiber, CEO of RevTrax.


• The line between association-branded prepaid and closed-loop cards is blurring, with open-loop products increasingly resembling closed-loop

• Non-swipe technologies are actually less expensive than conventional terminals and boast broader usage options for merchants, but who’s going to pay for this overhaul? Associations and banks can’t foot the bill indefinitely. When will merchants ante up? The answer rests with adoption, but is it the chicken or the egg?

• Join the cloud crowd: Alleviating security concerns en route to the plastic-free future may require some form of dynamic number generator via mobile Internet or a bar code format

• Analysts agree: consumer adoption trends for mobile-based payments are going to grow by several multiples by the end of THIS year

• Ironically, association-branded card contracts and merchant agreements may be a key barrier preventing merchants from accepting non-plastic payments and must be revised in step with the pace of technology – and ahead of adoption

• Out with the old fraud, in the new (and not so new): we’ll review strategies for mitigating various emerging risks

I trust I've given you enough to chew on, so I'll say thank you, and I look forward to seeing you next week at the world’s largest gathering for network-branded prepaid and stored-value decision professionals. It’s going to be a BIG year!

To listen to Part One of our podcast click here or to download the transcript, please click here.

To listen to Part Two of our podcast click here or to download the transcript, please click here.

Editor’s note: Want to learn more or meet Jonathan Treiber? He will be presenting on “The Realities of Fraud in Prepaid: New Technologies that Mitigate Financial Liability” on Tuesday afternoon, March 8th.

Visit for details.

About the Author/Interviewer

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s communication lead specializing in audience engagement with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at

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