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Eye on Prepaid: Users Want Universal Wallets, Plastic Gift Cards; InComm Adds Brands
July 15, 2015

By Kevin Woodward

While doubts persist about how appealing mobile wallets really are for consumers, a majority—54%—would use a mobile wallet if it were accepted at all merchants. That’s one finding from a Blackhawk Engagement Solutions Inc. survey, released Tuesday, on shopper behavior. Blackhawk Engagement Solutions is a unit of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Blackhawk Network Inc.



The survey of more than 2,600 U.S. consumers also found that 20% would stop carrying a traditional wallet if mobile payments and an identification credential were accepted everywhere.

As for prepaid cards provided to consumers as a post-purchase incentive, the survey found that 67% would want a $25 gift card that could be used almost anywhere, compared with 26% who would choose a $25 Amazon gift card. Only 6% wanted a gift card for the store where they made the original purchase, and only 2% wanted an iTunes or Google Play gift card.

“Surprisingly, retailers that issue their own gift cards for price matching have lower take rates,” Blackhawk says, “because consumers don’t value those offers as much as cash.”

Also, despite the expected growth of virtual gift cards, the survey also found that consumers prefer physical gift cards over electronic codes. Of those offered a $25 incentive, 67% wanted a plastic card while only 33% wanted a digital code.

“Gone are the days when your main worry was keeping up with your competitors,” said Rodney Mason, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions group vice president of marketing, in a press release. “Today, as this study clearly shows, the key to winning at retail is keeping up with your customers.”

Meanwhile, Atlanta-based InComm Holdings Inc. has added the Vanilla Visa Reward Card and other brands to its InComm Incentives portfolio of products, the prepaid processor announced Wednesday.

InComm Incentives enables businesses to make bulk purchases of gift and reward cards, used typically as rewards for customers and employees.


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