Mercator Perspectives

InComm Wants To Take Prepaid Product Filters Beyond HealthCare

InComm, a prepaid card distributor and technology company, announced on Feb. 13 that it had bought Medagate Corp. Medagate operates a prepaid card platform that can restrict how cards are spent. Insurance companies have used Medagate’s platform to give their customers cards that can be redeemed for specific items such as flu shots or over the counter medicines.

(Read more about the acquisition here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/incomm-acquires-restricted-spend-payment-company-medagate-corporation-139210259.html)

Like the IIAS platform, which performs a similar function for other medical based cards, Medagate’s software allows for SKU (Stock Keep Unit) level filtering. (You can learn more about IIAS here: http://www.sig-is.org/) This means that a card operating on the Medagate system can be used only for specific items and that the point of sale recognizes which items can be paid for with that card.

InComm has long offered prepaid cards for all types of merchants, so the company has bigger plans than just helping people buy aspirin. At the InComm Partner Alliance in Miami Florida, representatives from Medagate and InComm said that they would like to see this technology used for other types of companies and products. They said that manufacturers could use filtered cards for distributing product samples and incentives, merchants could use it for inventory management and loyalty programs, and other companies could offer specific products for rewards.

While the Medagate network is not everywhere, it does operate in stores where InComm activates cards. Several large retail chains can accept the cards. While card issuers might need to spend some time and money on educating cardholders about points of redemption, the ability to direct spending and redemption so specifically offers opportunities that will likely make the extra costs well worth it.
 

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