Italy: Italian consumer survey – which of the following are you actively considering purchasing in the coming 6-12 months?

Italy has long been touted as
prepaid’s great success story in Europe and our most recent
research shows this is likely to continue.

Prepaid cards in Italy are owned by
24 out of every 100 adults, compared to just 8.35 in 2005,
according to CI’s latest Italy country survey (see
Prepaid Prepaid proves a game-changer in
). There are also signs the market will continue to
grow, with consumers saying they are more likely to apply for a
prepaid card than any other payment card type over the next 6 to 12

The growth of prepaid cards in
Italy is well documented, supported initially by a government
mandate to distribute benefits on prepaid cards. Now there is
evidence of a second wave of growth driven by banks and consumer
finance companies.

The country’s two largest banks,
Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, have recently launched IBAN prepaid
cards, which are proving a hit with consumers who are put off
current accounts because of high charges. Other banks are starting
to follow with similar products.

IBAN cards allow salaries and
pension payments to be deposited onto the cards directly and
automatically and feature many of the advantages of a debit

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UniCredit last week became the first bank in Europe to offer
prepaid in conjunction with a coalition loyalty scheme through a
partnership with Canadian loyalty provider Groupe Aeroplan. This
latest development bodes well for the health of prepaid in Italy
and will undoubtedly be one of the key talking points at this
month’s Prepaid Europe conference in Milan, hosted by CI
and its parent company VRL. The challenge for the industry now is
to extend this Italian achievement into a Europe-wide success