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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 25, 2011
Business & Society
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Prepaid Cards Increasingly Popular
November 25, 2011   
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Prepaid cards are an increasingly common sight in Poland. In addition to gift and bonus cards for companies, there are also gift cards for individuals.

While the United States has long been the largest market for prepaid cards, the popularity of these cards is also growing rapidly in Europe, where the gift card market was estimated at over 20 billion euros in 2010, including 5 billion euros in France alone.

Poland’s prepaid cards market is also growing by leaps and bounds. In the case of cards in the Visa system, the market grew by over 40 percent in the last two years. At the end of June, the number of active prepaid Visa cards in the hands of users exceeded 970,000, up from 810,000 a year earlier and 560,000 two years earlier. The Bonus Systems Polska company, which is leading the charge on the prepaid card market in Central and Eastern Europe, says it has distributed 600,000 prepaid cards as part of its programs and issued zl.740 million worth of cards and vouchers since October 2002. “In 2010 alone, Bonus Systems distributed zl.150 million worth of prepaid cards and paper vouchers,” says Adam Kompowski, CEO of Bonus Systems Polska. “This year we plan to maintain 20 percent growth.”

“The cards are user-friendly and a growing number of stores and service outlets accept them— over 200,000 across Poland now,” says Kompowski. “Compared with paper vouchers, they are far more convenient. In the case of a zl.100 voucher, for example, you must spend the whole sum at once. A prepaid card gives you the same kind of flexibility in making payments as a normal Visa payment card.”
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