WASHINGTON (3/8/12)--Consumer focus-groups have reacted favorably to extra-thin prepaid gift cards being pilot-tested at three Arizona credit unions.
The cards are offered through ATMs by Credit Union West, Glendale; MariSol FCU, Phoenix; and Pinal County FCU, Casa Grande (News Now Jan. 12).
Visa was initially concerned that consumers would consider the thinner cards to be worthless and throw them away. But consumers correlated the Visa brand with the card, and understood the value, Visa said (American Banker March 6).
Consumers also found the cards easier to store than traditional cards, Visa said.
Better ATM Services, which initiated the pilot program in partnership with Visa, said it will offer the test at the credit unions through the second quarter, then test the gift cards at banks.
Eventually the cards will be marketed to underbanked consumers, Better ATM Services said.