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August 31, 2010

NBS lacked ambition – Greaves

Colin Greaves, the former operations director of Newcastle Building Society (NBS), has accepted the role of CEO of European prepaid card issuer Transact Network, in a bid to become more involved with innovation and development in the prepaid market.

By Verdict Staff

Colin Greaves, the former operations director of Newcastle Building Society (NBS), has accepted the role of CEO of European prepaid card issuer Transact Network, in a bid to become more involved with innovation and development in the prepaid market.

Greaves led the creation and development of a number of B2B companies during his time at NBS, including leading prepaid card division, Newcastle Card Solutions (NCS).

Under his leadership, NCS became – and remains – the largest prepaid card issuer in the UK and Europe, and one of the top five issuers in the world. It settled more than $1.6bn of transactions last year, and issued Europe’s first prepaid contactless card.

“I had been with NBS for 20 years, and if somebody said six months ago that I would have upped sticks and moved abroad, I would have said ‘no way’,” said Greaves.

“As I was getting more involved with developing the prepaid business in Newcastle, it was clear that NBS was going in a different direction to where I wanted to take prepaid cards.

“While they have laid the foundations in getting prepaid cards up to a good standard, and raising consumer confidence, they haven’t embraced the fact that prepaid is now a more established, mature and mainstream market that needs to develop and change.”

Greaves said he had immediately been grabbed by its commitment to innovation and drive to move the prepaid market forward.

“Prepaid is a whole new method of managing your finances. There are still large numbers of unbanked people, and the interest in gift cards is still growing. Transact’s development centre is full of people too bright to talk to, and it’s an exciting time to be involved in the company,” he added.

Although Greaves is still getting to grips with his new role, he is relishing the challenges that lie ahead and predicts a lot of change in the prepaid market over the coming months.

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