GlobalData Plc

“Live load” for prepaid cards an unnecessary innovation

Tuxedo’s new “live load” feature for prepaid cards can best be summed up as a solution in search of a problem.

Prepaid card program manager Tuxedo has announced the launch of a “live load” feature for its prepaid card programs, enabling prepaid card holders to top up their prepaid card balance as needed during the transaction process. Consumers can access this service either online or via a mobile app, and link their credit or debit cards to their prepaid card as a funding source. Tuxedo is billing this platform as a revolution in the prepaid card industry, eliminating the customer pain point that is the requirement to manually reload prepaid cards whenever they run low on funds.

However, most prepaid use-cases rely on the card being limited to loaded funds only, such as protecting debit and credit card accounts from online fraud and controlling spending. By enabling consumers to link other payment cards to their prepaid cards, Tuxedo is removing the unique advantages for which many consumers use prepaid in the first instance. There is little reason to use a prepaid card over the card it is linked to, since the functionality is identical, only with the added step of using a mobile app to manage the link.

The “live load” function does have interesting applications as a way to create an “all-in-one” payment card which can switch between different accounts via the linked mobile app, but other providers such as Curve and Dynamics are already playing in this space.

By Samuel Murrant, Senior Consumer Payments Analyst

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