Prepaid Cards Top Canadian Wish Lists this Holiday Season

A survey by the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO) reveals a preference for both receiving and giving prepaid cards this holiday season

TORONTO–Last minute holiday shoppers have at least one reason to rejoice this year because their task just became a lot easier. According to a recent survey, prepaid cards topped Canadian wish lists this holiday season because the cards can be widely used to buy exactly what the recipient wants. The survey also revealed that Canadians prefer to give prepaid cards as a way to stick to a holiday spending budget.

This data is in line with trends seen in the United States, where prepaid cards remain the most requested gift for the past twelve years and continue to grow in popularity.1 Prepaid cards carry the card brand of American Express, Mastercard or Visa and can be used wherever the card network is accepted, including in-stores and online. Prepaid cards can only access a set amount of pre-loaded funds and are a valuable financial tool used by consumers and businesses.

The Prepaid Card Research, an online survey of 1,501 Canadian consumers, was conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO), the voice of the rapidly growing prepaid payments industry in Canada.

When asked what gift they would most like to receive in the upcoming holidays, prepaid cards that can be used anywhere American Express, Mastercard and Visa are accepted ranked first among consumers at 51 percent and store gift cards redeemable at specific retailers came in second at 36 percent, followed by clothing and accessories at 31 percent.

Canadians also want to extend the gift of choice and flexibility to others this holiday season. Six-in-ten Canadian consumers (57 percent) anticipate purchasing either a prepaid card or a store gift card. With more than four-in-ten (43 percent) Canadians struggling to sometimes – if not always – stick to a budget in the last year, 80 percent agree that giving prepaid cards is a great way to stick to a specific budget for holiday spending.

More than half (55 percent) of consumers think a prepaid card is more secure than cash and, because it allows the recipient to get exactly what they want, 76 percent of Canadian like to give a prepaid card and 75 percent would like to receive it for that reason.

“This study shows that prepaid cards have a wide appeal across different customer groups, ages and income levels due to their convenience, flexibility and ability to serve as a budgeting tool,” said Jennifer Tramontana, Executive Director of the CPPO. “Consumer expectations are rapidly evolving with enhanced demands for immediacy, customization and digital solutions and prepaid products continue to deliver on those preferences to remain top of the holiday list.”

Additional research findings are included below.

–Prepaid cards (51%), store gift cards (36%) and clothing and accessories (31%) are the top three preferred gifts by Canadians this holiday season
–Followed by books and DVDs (16%), mobile devices/computer electronics (12%) and gaming consoles and games (10%)
–Six-in-ten (57%) plan to purchase prepaid cards as a gift in the upcoming holiday season
–Over a quarter (29%) say they will purchase prepaid cards and more than one-third (36%) say they will purchase store gift cards
–Three quarters (75%) of consumers prefer receiving a prepaid card they can use almost anywhere versus a store gift card they can use only at a specific store
–Eight-in-ten (78%) like having the option of buying multiple brands of store gift cards at a grocery stores and other retailers
–More than two-thirds (71%) prefer giving prepaid cards to cash because it helps ensure the recipient will spend it on something special for themselves

Prepaid cards are a flexible and easy-to-use payment tool. The cards can be used anywhere the card network (American Express, Mastercard and Visa) is accepted, including online and around the world. Prepaid cards look and function like traditional debit cards at the point-of-sale and offer the same fraud and loss protections offered by the card network with a significant difference — they access a set amount of funds that have been pre-loaded by a consumer, by a government or by a business.

The CPPO is a not-for-profit organization and the collective voice of the open-loop prepaid payments industry in Canada. It is the only Association solely focused on this growing industry and is supported by major financial institutions, card networks and other industry players. The CPPO is focused on awareness and education so that consumers and businesses can have the best experiences with these popular products.

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