May 24, 2012

Forty-seven percent of existing bank customers and credit union members say they are more likely to use prepaid reloadable cards if offered by their financial institution, according to consumer research from market research and analysis firm Market Rates Insight.

Additionally, these consumers indicated willingness to pay an average of $4.21 per month for the use of the prepaid card, according to the firm.

According to Market Rates Insight research, among consumers who are likely to use prepaid cards, 36.7 percent earn between $35,000 and $65,000 per year; 22.1 percent earn between $66,000 and $100,000 a year; and 14.8 percent earn over $100,000 per year, dispelling the long-held notion that only low-wage earners gravitate towards prepaid cards.

Another misconception is that prepaid cards are the preferred payment method of very young consumers, who may not have a credit card or banking relations, according to the firm. The study found that 42.3 percent of consumers likely to use prepaid cards are baby boomers ranging in age between 47 and 66 years old.

"Expect prepaid reloadable cards to become the norm in the future." said Dan Geller, EVP at Market Rates Insight, in a written statement. "The research clearly shows that baby boomers, who are the larges segment of the U.S. population, is likely to adopt prepaid cards as their main payment method."

The prepaid card findings are part of a comprehensive consumer research study conducted during April.

[Related: U.S. Bank Offers Mobile Banking for Prepaid Cardholders]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...