In the market gyrations of the past weeks,prepaid card provider NetSpend saw its stock price bounce aroundpretty wildly. Green Dot Corp., the other public prepaid provideralso saw some movement, but the peaks and valleys were not quite assevere.
While the market is full of herds of spooked investors, it isimportant for the industry to remind its customers that the stockprice of a company does not always reflect the health of theunderlying industry, or even necessarily the health of a business.Mercator is not a stock analyst firm, so I will leave speculationand pricing prognostications to equity analysts. But, I can saythat the prepaid industry is not dead.
If anything, as people become more concerned about the economy andtheir own well-being, they become more likely candidates forprepaid cards. Some will be forced out of banks or choose to leavebecause of troubles they have with their accounts. Some will lookfor new ways to find deals and do better budgeting. Some will wantto avoid risks all together.
Prepaid cards can help with all of these customer needs. It is nosecret that prepaid cards serve as budgeting tools, checkingaccount replacements, and as tools for low-risk online shopping.Someone seeking to take advantage of discount shopping online forexample, might want, or be forced, to use a prepaid card. They maynot have access to a credit or debit card, or they may not want totake the risk of a hack or overspending.
The industry should look for opportunities in these troubled timesto help customers, both new and old, protect what they have andkeep themselves solvent so that they don’t need to play catch-upwhen the economy improves.