First Data India’s Prepaid Platform Wins Praises from Timetric Cards International - Part 3
This is the third in a 3-part series about First Data India’s end-to-end prepaid system that not only increased settlement efficiency across FIs, merchants and consumers, but also received a Highly Commended Award for Best Prepaid Product of the Year in APAC.
End-to-End Solution for Faster Processing
The largest differentiator of the First Data prepaid platform is its end-to-end coverage of the prepaid lifecycle. First Data facilitates initial enrollment, card embossing and card issuance — and can readily work with a client’s established third party for embossing/issuance. Customized POS terminals speed payment processing. Also, with First Data also handling settlement, the prepaid platform offers a unique auto-settlement feature. This means that funds are received by the merchant on T+1, directly to their accounts. By developing an end-to-end prepaid platform, First Data created a one-stop solution for banks and merchants and optimized the speed of payment processing and settlement.
Financial Institutions & Merchants Reaping Benefits
Both First Data’s bank clients and participating merchants immediately recognized the value of the end-to-end platform. Working with a single system, supported by First Data’s 24/7 authorizations, call center and field operations support, banks and merchants can improve operational efficiency and reduced operating costs compared to the non-integrated solutions previously available.
Upon deployment, the auto-settlement feature, which provides T+1 payments to merchants, gives merchants an extremely fast and reliable means of payment settlement. Just as important, the faster auto-settlement means banks are not paying interest on pending card balances as they wait for settlement. The auto-settlement feature is dramatically cutting the lag between real-time transactions and virtual transactions, giving all parties truer pictures of their assets.
These unique benefits of the First Data platform come in addition to the standard advantages of prepaid cards. These advantages include the elimination of interchange costs, bringing more profits to both banks and merchants; a significant reduction in the risk of fraud and money laundering; enhanced customer loyalty and increased throughput; and a higher spend per transaction.
For consumers, the First Data platform’s web portal is making it easier to manage spending and finances, while offering increased convenience, reliability and security over cash or check-based transactions. The connection of the prepaid platform with existing online and mobile banking services are also allowing consumers to easily transfer funds across the span of the country — an important benefit in a nation in which 70 percent lives in rural areas, and more than 4 million domestic migrant workers regularly send money back to home to family.
Successful Implementation and Future Plans
The initial development of the First Data India prepaid platform was completed in May 2013 and successfully implemented for seven clients in markets ranging from government and education to private travel and canteens. Immediate plans include implementation with at least six other clients, and First Data sees potential demand for its prepaid platform in additional verticals like healthcare, military and EBT.
APAC: A Broader Opportunity
Buoyed by this initial success, First Data is actively looking at promising opportunities across the APAC region — and specifically in China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Following a similar trend as India, non-cash transactions in APAC will reach $300 trillion by 2020 — up from just $91 trillion in 2010.3 This huge growth extends beyond consumer spending, as governments across the region are shifting to prepaid cards for benefits payments, recognizing this as a cheaper, faster and more secure solution than cash or checks. In India alone, the government plans to shift more than $2 billion in government payroll to disbursement through a prepaid program.3
Award Adds to Reputation for Innovation
The recognition of the First Data India prepaid platform with Timetric Cards International’s Highly Commended Award for Best Prepaid Product of the Year APAC adds to First Data’s growing success in the prepaid market, where it has implemented over 50 prepaid programs worldwide. Noting the immense opportunities in the APAC region, Senior Vice President and Head of First Data in Asia Pacific Marc Mathenz proudly accepted the award and pointed to the promise of continued innovation: “We are delighted that Timetric has recognized First Data’s implementation of this program,” said Mathenz. “This program is just part of First Data’s commitment to continued innovation in the APAC region — a commitment to creating solutions that increase revenue for merchants and provide greater consumer satisfaction — a true win-win.”
Wait … there’s more! Come back next week to find out how First Data India also developed an award-winning CRM program that improved customer retention and revenue for Merchants.
1 McKinsey on Payments