Prepaid cards have evolved over recent years to become more sophisticated, innovative and user-centric. No longer perceived as simply a travel card or gift card, consumers and businesses have caught on the benefits of prepaid cards in an age where credit card usage is at a decade low.
Here are four unique ways prepaid cards are used to improve money management, business efficiency and user security.
Protecting and enabling the elderly
Just prepaid cards can provide children and teenagers with financial independence and protection, the same can be applied to the elderly.
With a relentless variety of internet and phone scams targeting the elderly, prepaid cards offer a unique advantage over credit or debit cards, as they are not linked to a bank account. Prepaid cards can’t be overdrawn and often come with a daily withdrawal limit. While we may see these limits as imposing, for the elderly this offers a layer of protection against scams and unintended large purchases.
The shift towards contactless payments and online shopping means that some elderly people are venturing into internet banking and online payments for the first time. For some elderly people, changing their habits requires education and support from others. Prepaid cards offer financial independence for the elderly in a more controlled way.
Supporting Carers and Social Workers
For carers and social workers, having access to a prepaid card means that they can pay for small purchases for their clients or themselves more conveniently and securely, such as groceries, deliveries and transportation.
Instead of paying out-of-pocket and having to claim a reimbursement later, or relying on cash, carers can use prepaid cards as a dual-purpose shopping and expense card. This protects the carer and the client in a more transparent way. Carers can also check their balance via a mobile app and download report to submit to their organisation or client.
Supporting TV/Film Productions
Managing expenses on set can cause a serious headache for Production Accountants. Crews need to purchase food, transportation, last minute props and so on, and these petty cash expenses stack up quickly over the months of the production.
Prepaid cards are a great option because Production Managers can control their crew’s spending while giving individual staff the financial freedom to buy things quickly and conveniently. This eliminates the practice of sharing credit cards and waiting for approval to purchase small ticket items. Production Accountants will also be able to plug their expense reports into their accounting software for easy reconciliation and budget allocation.
Fuel or transport card for workers
If you’re a business owner with employees and contractors on the road regularly, consider leveraging prepaid cards as a way to manage payments for fuel and travel-related costs.
For companies that have their own fleet, prepaid cards are particularly useful as fuel, oil, fleet maintenance and repairs represent a critical part of the business operations and expenses.
Prepaid cards can be tailored for fuel management by setting spending and transaction limits, as well as limiting purchases to fuel-related expenses only. Companies can choose to allocate prepaid cards to employees or vehicle, both of which supports the administrator to track spending and top up cards when funds are running low.