Global technology provider
Serverside Group, which specialises in offering personalisation
services to bank card portfolios around the world, has teamed up
with UK prepaid programme manager Quantum Card Services and issuer
Newcastle Card Solutions to offer prepaid cardholders the option to
personalise their cards with photos and images.

The three organisations have teamed up to
launch the UK’s first customisable prepaid card, a single load
MasterCard-branded gift card. The card is available in
denominations from £20 to £125 ($32 to $202), and cardholders can
personalise the card by uploading their own images or by selecting
a design from the online gallery provided by Quantum.

Prepaid gift cards are not new to the UK
market, but with a plethora now available, issuers and providers
are seeking the extra edge that differentiation can bring.
According to Serverside, through its experience of offering
personalisation services on credit and debit cards, card
customisation has already been proven to result in increased
transactions, acquisition and retention rates, as well as larger

It also offers an immediate differentiator for
marketing purposes, particularly important in the ultra-competitive
prepaid market.

Personalisation a strong

Serverside has pioneered the use of
personalisation on payment cards, having been established in 2003.
By the end of 2009, it was running more than 1,000 card programmes
through its network of approximately 200 card issuers in 23

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Its clients include RBS Group, Banco Sabadell,
ING, Permanent TSB, ANZ, BMW, KBC, Fortis, Eurobank, First National
Bank Omaha and Heritage Building Society.

By teaming up with Newcastle Card Solutions,
which has already issued over half a million prepaid cards in the
UK, Serverside is confident that prepaid personalisation will be a
strong proposition.

Newcastle Card Solutions already has over 200
live prepaid and debit card programmes encompassing debit cards and
prepaid cards, including those in the gift, teen, unbanked, travel,
corporate and payroll segments.

Serverside Group says it has specifically
adapted its technology to the requirements of the prepaid sector
and, through its partnership with Newcastle Card Solutions, a
subsidiary of Newcastle Building Society, now offers all prepaid
companies a low-cost entry point into the card customisation
market, whether for single load or reload cards.

Quantum will be marketing the new service
through multiple channels, from online campaigns and competitions
to win tickets to various live events, to affinity deals with
appropriate third parties, for example, pet and gift websites and
photo processors.

Kriya Patel, head of card solutions at
Newcastle Card Solutions, said: “This is a significant development
in the prepaid cards market and we are glad to be in the driving
seat along with Serverside Group, who are the innovators in this

“Card customisation is a proven revenue
generator and the perfect product for the prepaid card

Benefits of

Personalisation has proven to be a
valuable revenue stream for card issuers and a way to establish
lasting consumer loyalty to a card issuer.

Some issuers offering Serverside’s
personalisation service charge an upfront fee, while others charge
a fee for subsequent replacement card designs. Other issuers have
opted to charge no fee at all in order to appeal to as many
consumers as possible.

In a previous interview with CI, Serverside
CEO Tom Elgar said the growing trend of personalisation not only
offers a way for issuers to differentiate their offerings in order
to make them ‘top of wallet’, but also taps into the era of
user-generated content.

“Marketing outlets such as Myspace and YouTube
have seen enormous growth and profits by allowing users to create
their own content then share their personal creations online with
others,” Elgar said.

“Consumers no longer expect to be offered a
one-size-fits-all proposition. Personalisation and choice are now
expected across all consumer product offerings, and that includes
payment cards.”

According to a November 2008 report by US
payment consultancy Aite Group, 8 out of 12 of US card issuers
surveyed listed card personalisation as ‘important to extremely
important’ to acquiring new customers, with the number of
transactions made using personalised cards typically rising between
10 percent to 20 percent compared to traditional cards.