financial services

Visa Launches Prepaid Card Awareness Effort


Visa has announced the first phase of a new national marketing program designed to raise consumer awareness about the benefits of using reloadable prepaid debit cards instead of cash for purchases.

The campaign targets financially underserved consumers -- primarily those without a traditional banking relationship. Visa estimates that there are approximately 80 million financially underserved consumers in the U.S. alone.

The multichannel campaign features social media (including a new Visa prepaid debit Facebook page), mobile, digital, grassroots events and radio advertising, as well as in-store demonstrations, displays, and promotions.

Online display ads provide direct access to purchasing cards online through Visa partners, and social media enables consumers to connect as a community through the Visa Prepaid Debit Facebook page (

In-store demonstrations and local events provide an opportunity for personal interaction with consumers, where product experts explain how reloadable prepaid cards work, and help consumers apply for a card onsite.

Digital media, which have become a core pillar of San Francisco-based Visa's marketing efforts under CMO Antonio Lucio, represent a central element of the campaign. The new campaign follows recent digital successes in support of global marketing efforts around the Olympic Games (Go World) and FIFA World Cup (Go Fans).

The campaign brings to life how Visa prepaid debit cards can enable better money management and empower consumers looking for an alternative to a cash-and-carry lifestyle. The fundamental messages of the campaign focus on debit cards' core product values, including that they enable consumers to manage their spending on their terms and give them the ability to make purchases online, at retailers or to pay bills.

The campaign also plays up the card's security, in that it is safer than cash and registered cards are replaceable if lost or stolen. The cards can also give consumers easy and timely access to their money through direct deposit.

Research by the Mercator Advisory Group shows that the majority of consumers do not make full use of the opportunities provided by prepaid cards.

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