Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Prepaid Cards and Financial Services 2.0

A tip of the hat to Chris Skinner for his giant post on Prepaid Cards as a payment method.

Very timely, given the launch this week of Wigadoo:
"Collect all the money for your trip into an online event account with a virtual prepaid MasterCard®. When you come to pay for hotels, tickets or extras it's all ready and waiting for you to spend."
Chris laments that the banks are not the ones initiating prepayment tie-ups with retailers etc. But this expects too much of banks. As an example, the Wigadoo card is issued by Newcastle Building Society, but there's little chance that NBS could have dreamed up Wigadoo's use case, let alone implemented the user experience and the marketing plan. That's just not what financial institutions are good at, and it's taken the talent and experience of Andy, John and Uma to initiate and drive the whole thing, using angel money and input from the likes of Andy Phillipps and Brent Hoberman.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: banks will be the back office, not the front, of Financial Services 2.0.
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