Prepaid Cards and typical applications

Prepaid Cards

A stored-value card refers to monetary value on a card not in an externally recorded account and differs from prepaid cards where money is on deposit with the issuer similar to a debit card. One major difference between stored value cards and prepaid debit cards is that prepaid debit cards are usually issued in the name of individual account holders, while stored value cards are usually anonymous.

The term stored-value card means the funds and or data are metaphorically ‘physically’ stored on the card, in the form of binary-coded data. With prepaid cards the data is maintained on computers affiliated with the card issuer. The value associated with the card can be accessed using a magnetic stripe embedded in the card, on which the card number is encoded; using radio-frequency identification (RFID); or by entering a code number, printed on the card, into a telephone or other numeric keypad.

Typical applications

Typical applications of stored-value cards include transit system farecards, telephone prepaid calling cards, Cafeterias, or for micropayments in shops or vending machines. Examples of country specific payment cards include Chipknip in the Netherlands, Geldkarte in Germany, Quick in Austria, Moneo in France, Proton in Belgium, FeliCa in Japan, EZ-Link and NETS (CashCard and FlashPay) in Singapore and Octopus card in Hong Kong. The German Geldkarte and the Austrian Quick card are also used to validate customer age at vending machines for cigarettes.


Typical applications of organization specific or industry specific prepaid card include payroll cards, rebate cards, gift cards, cafeteria cards and travel cards and U.S. based health schemes such as HSA cards. The U.S. Department of the Treasury manages three stored-value card programs (EZpay, EagleCash, and Navy Cash) which are used by the U.S. military as electronic alternatives to cash in areas characterized by difficult access and limited banking / telecommunications infrastructure. Some examples of non-government related stored-value cards are Aramark GuestExpress, Compass Zipthru, and FreedomPay FreetoGo.

Stored value cards can save organizations a considerable amount of money by allowing customers to add a large amount of funds at one time to the card and then paying a lower transaction fee for each use of the stored value card on smaller purchases.

If you would like more information about our prepaid cards feel free to contact us, we would be glad to assist you in any way we can.



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