Managing Director Jeremy Kuiper shares his thoughts on prepaid's growth and future applications with PaymentEye editor Sarah Gill in our Finetics™ Studio, live from the exhibition floor at Money 20/20.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: Right now I'm joined in the Finetics Studio by Jeremy Kuiper, who is the Managing Director of The Bancorp. Welcome.
Jeremy Kuiper: Thank you very much. Glad to be here.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: What is it about this industry in particular that you find so compelling? You know, what makes it such an exciting place to work?
Jeremy Kuiper: So, you know, for first of all, Bancorp in and of itself is a great place. But relative as far as from the industry standpoint, you know, there are what I call three platforms. There's credit, debit, and then there's prepaid. Prepaid is very unique and different from all the others in the sense that it is really a mechanism of finding alternative ways of facilitating payments in a variety of product verticals available to it, much different than credit and debit. And as a result of that, it's really evolved as far as some really unique applications within the payment space. And it's just been a tremendous amount of fun, really creating and having that platform and the ability to innovate new payment methodologies.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: Yes, it feels like people are being quite creative with that model. I mean, prepaid cards have been around for quite a long time, but it feels now that we're kind of at an inflection point. Would you agree with that?
Jeremy Kuiper: There are. It is, and I think for a number of different reasons, based upon different product verticals. So they have been around for a long time; you're absolutely right. And you almost have to break down the product verticals, and there are different inflection points for each one.
Gift is probably the most common known, right? And yet that continues to be the consumer purchase of choice, you know, for a variety of different gifting reasons. In the pretax benefit space, you have flexible spending accounts, which also have been around for a long period of time. But as healthcare becomes more and more of an issue domestically, you look for different ways of finding efficiencies and convenience for consumers. And so whether it's an FSA, HSA, transit--again, the prepaid platform really helps support that. And so that inflection point there is we continue to see greater penetration and adoption rates for consumers, because at the end of the day, it helps save them money, and the utilization is so much more efficient.
You know, with general-purpose reloadable, for those individuals who are looking at bank account alternatives, it also has an inflection point, because there are events taking place where, from a regulatory perspective, are really bringing what I call a point of convergence, or regulatory parity, between that and debit. And each of these have continued--all of these product lines have continued to see strong consumer utilization, adoption, and growth. And so it's been exciting. But each is at a different type of inflection point based upon the products, but you're absolutely right.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: I mean, is there a particular industry or kind of application of prepaid that you're excited about? Or where do you see it making the biggest kind of impact, that model?
Jeremy Kuiper: Sure. So excited about a number of them. And again, you know, for different reasons. We see strong growth across the universe, but you know, we're seeing, you know, virtual card applications for B2B and P2P payments. We see, again, some of the things I mentioned about general-purpose reloadable and just kind of the transition that's taking place relative to alternative bank accounts.
And then overlaid over all of that, you have what's taking place just with payments in general, such as the mobile deployment, right, relative as far as an overlay to these applications. So, I mean, payments in general, I mean, case in point, with 10,000 attendees here, it continues to be a very exciting time for payments and within prepaid as well.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: Okay, yes. I mean, I think it's undeniable that the opportunity is huge. But what are the challenges, or the biggest challenges still that that platform industry faces?
Jeremy Kuiper: Well, I think, again, I think the challenge is still lack of understanding. Now, that varies, again, within the product setting. But I think one of the challenges that consumers, as it relates to general-purpose reloadable cards, don't really understand fully as far as what it is and the fact that it really is equal to a DDA account, a debit card, in many, many ways from a functionality and utilization capability. So, and then there's regulatory challenges as well, but it's more so from a position of not fully understanding the product versus any real concerns relative to the product itself.
Sarah Gill, Reporter: Okay. And do you have any kind of advice for entrepreneurs out here on the floor that are kind of getting into that space?
Jeremy Kuiper: Well, I think, you know, the opportunity is huge. I think that, again, it varies. I mean, it's one of these things, obviously, that can be challenging when you're an entrepreneur and a startup. So number one, don't give up. Number two, you know, hire great people. And, you know, really, you have to commit yourself without question. It has to be your sole, single focus and the passion, you know, that you can bring to the table. Without it, you're not going to be successful. But with it, you can be unstoppable.
The opinions, findings, or perspectives expressed in this content are those of the participants and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Bancorp, Inc., its affiliates, or its or their employees.