hyperWALLET launches international prepaid card products
by Robin Arnfield, News Editor
VANCOUVER--hyperWallet has entered the international prepaid card market with offerings in the US and Mexico. “We originally developed our prepaid card technology platform in 2004, and then launched our first Canadian prepaid card with our partner Alterna Bank in 2005,” Bill Crowley, hyperWALLET’s vice president of product development, tells Payments Business.
hyperWALLET’s original Canadian prepaid card offering is targeted at the government welfare market, and bears the Interac logo. According to Crowley, a number of prepaid card program managers in the Canadian market are starting to convert their Interac-branded prepaid cards over to Visa or MasterCard branding.
Crowley says that in the last few years hyperWALLET has provided its prepaid card technology platform to a number of US-based prepaid card program managers. “However, these companies were in charge of the prepaid card programs, we just supplied the underlying technology,” he says.
hyperWALLET is now starting to market its own prepaid cards in partnership with banking partners in Mexico and the US, and is also looking to expand its Canadian prepaid card programs. Other countries will be targeted later on, Crowley says. The international prepaid cards will carry a Visa logo.
“The initial target is corporations which need to make one-time or re-occurring payments, such as commissions or rebates, to agents or employees,” Crowley says. In a press release, hyperWALLET says it also plans to offer prepaid cards in partnership with governments and NGOs.
Through its existing direct-to-bank-account international remittance service, hyperWALLET has relationships with banks in 40 countries worldwide. It will leverage these relationships in its international prepaid card offerings, the firm says.
hyperWALLET’s global money transfers service enables Canadians to transfer funds to recipients abroad at C$7.00 per transaction, well below the price of competing international remittance services
“Hyperwallet appears to be shrewdly exploiting an opening gap in the payments market -increasing frustration around the inability to transfer funds around the globe quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively,” says Rob Burbach, Senior Analyst at IDC Financial Insights Canada. “For example, many travellers are trapped without access to funds when their credit card is declined internationally without any recourse, and the trend appears to be increasing rather than decreasing as credit card fraud becomes more sophisticated. That is driving the search for better global payment solutions by both business and government. The ability of hyperWALLET to extend its new prepaid card service offering to other countries, especially those where existing banking services are underdeveloped will be critical for it to really take hold.”
Separately, hyperWALLET has announced that former Travelex senior executive Peter Burridge has joined its board of directors. Burridge started his career in the software industry and moved to the financial services industry in 2006 where he operated between London and Washington DC as CEO of Travelex Global Business Payments, the world's largest non-bank foreign exchange provider.