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September 15, 2009

Prepaid’s big players descend on Rome

Now in its fifth year, the Prepaid Cards Summit will be taking place in Rome on 12-13 November 2009 The industry press is reporting the expansion of the prepaid market across several diverse and emerging industry sectors and Europe is being heralded as the next big market in terms of prepaid

By Verdict Staff

Now in its fifth year, the Prepaid Cards Summit will be taking place in Rome on 12-13 November 2009. Building on the success of previous events, this year’s summit features an outstanding array of speakers, and an agenda covering the most important and pressing issues facing the industry today.

The industry press is reporting the expansion of the prepaid market across several diverse and emerging industry sectors and Europe is being heralded as the next big market in terms of prepaid.

But is it? What are Europeans really thinking as they watch the route taken by prepaid cards globally? Where are the most profitable opportunities? Which are the key markets? And what are the major challenges facing the prepaid industry?

The Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi will be the location for the 2009 Prepaid Cards Summit on 12-13 November 2009, hosted by VRL, publisher of Cards International. The Summit, the most successful and respected in the prepaid industry, will feature presentations from recognised industry experts on market analysis, best practices and new opportunities.

Prepaid benefits in the downturn

Despite the global economic slowdown affecting consumer confidence and hitting payment card spending levels, prepaid cards have been identified as one of the financial solutions that could benefit from the downturn, and Italy has been identified as one of the fastest-growing prepaid markets in the world, making it an ideal location for the conference.

Delegates will also benefit from gaining access to VRL’s unique research into prepaid card trends in both the UK and Italy, offering unrivalled information on two of the world’s largest prepaid markets. Following on from 2008 research of over 3,000 consumers in the UK market on their usage and awareness of prepaid cards, VRL has now commissioned new research on UK and Italian consumers’ awareness of prepaid, which will be exclusively presented at this year’s Summit.

Other topics under discussion at the event include:

• Prepaid and government

• Breakage and the bottom line: growing levels of unclaimed value on gift cards

• New prepaid money transfer services

• The future of payroll cards

• Going forward in rewards and incentives programmes

• Food prepaid initiatives: replacing food vouchers for employees across Europe

• Gaming prepaid cards and implications for the industry

• The convergence of prepaid, mobile and contactless technology

• Closed-loop versus open-loop in emerging markets

• Retailers and prepaid

In recognition of the growing importance of merchant acquiring within the prepaid market, delegates will also be treated to dedicated sessions exploring the acquiring process in emerging markets, and whether existing payment infrastructure allows cardholders to make the most of prepaid.

Impressive array of speakers

This year’s line-up of speakers reflects the diversity and growing popularity of prepaid globally, with keynote presentations from Mattia Adani from Italy’s Ministry of Economics and Finance, Flavio Mastrangelo, head of prepaid products at Italy’s leading prepaid issuer and trendsetter Poste Italiane, Matthew Lanford, head of prepaid in Europe at MasterCard, plus many more leading industry players.

With over 320 attendees consisting of over 50 retailers, and 70 percent of all attendees being decision makers, Prepaid Cards Summit 2008 proved for the fourth consecutive year to be the biggest prepaid event in the industry calendar. Fiona Duncan, senior vice-president of prepaid at Visa Europe, is one of the speakers at this year’s Summit, and says it is a must-attend event.

“At Visa Europe, the prepaid market is already a significant part of our business and we see huge potential for growth in the coming years, making this dedicated conference an important event for us. We have a number of our market experts attending and we’re looking forward to demonstrating the value of Visa prepaid solutions and engaging in a stimulating debate on the wider role and future of prepaid cards to the payment industry.”

Having covered the growth of the prepaid industry since its inception, Cards International is proud to host the fifth annual Prepaid Cards Summit. On behalf of the Cards International and VRL teams, I hope you will be able to join us in Rome for what promises to be an engaging, lively and inspiring conference.

If you are interested in attending the event, please send an email to DelegateEnquiries@vrlfinancialnews.com, or for sponsorship enquiries please email sponsorship@vrlfinancialnews.com.

Alternatively, please call Lesley Fryer on: +44 (0)20 7563 5687, or Xenia Dretaki on: +44 (0)20 7563 5603, or visit the website at http://www.prepaidcardssummit.com/

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