2nd February 2022 - Boom in Italy Prepaid Cards and Digital Wallets

According to a report by Research and Markets, the prepaid card market (value terms) in Italy increased at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2017-2021. Over the forecast period of 2022 to 2026, the market is expected to record a CAGR of 11.4%, increasing from US$60.63 billion in 2022 to reach US$93.49 billion by 2026.

Italy is on the verge of a boom with higher usage of digital wallets and prepaid cards. With the onset of the pandemic, the consumers shifted to digital modes of payment, which pushed the country towards higher adoption of these payment methods.,Moreover, to support Italian citizens and businesses during the pandemic, digital multi-currency wallet provider Skrill offered its wallet and quick checkout solution without any charge for two months till December 2020. Therefore, these factors contributed to the higher adoption of prepaid instruments in the country.

Fintech companies are partnering with football clubs in Italy to launch prepaid cards for football fans

Various fintech companies are developing innovative products in partnership with football clubs targeting football fans, thereby increasing their customer base. For example, in December 2021, an Italian professional football club based in Rome, AS Roma, has partnered with a British fintech company, REPX, to launch an innovative new prepaid card for Giallorossi fans. The Giallorossi prepaid card is specifically designed for the fans to interact with their favorite team. Moreover, the Giallorossi fans can access exclusive offers and get notified about merchandising, buying tickets, also for getting invitations for exclusive events. The users of the prepaid card will also get the benefit of transferring money instantly between supporters without any charge.  Public transport providers are introducing contactless ticketing service for the passengers in Italy

Digital wallets and contactless payment methods received immense popularity among the consumers of Italy.

Moreover, the government is taking various initiatives amid the pandemic to digitize the fare payment methods in the country. For instance, in August 2021, public transport companies in Italy, such as bus and funicular railway operator Azienda Trasporti Bergamo (ATB) and tram operator Tramvie Elettriche Bergasmasche (TEB), have introduced account-based ticketing services on all their vehicles, together with contactless validators across their networks in the northern Italian city of Bergamo. The passengers will be able to make contactless payments for their fares using their credit or debit card or from the digital wallet on their NFC-enabled mobile device. The contactless ticketing service will support credit and debit card payments from Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and American Express. Together with this, digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay can also be used by passengers for payments on their NFC-enabled smartphones and smartwatches.

The publisher expects, with the changing taste and preference of the consumers in Italy, these contactless payments are likely to receive much appreciation in the next six to eight quarters.

Government initiative boosting prepaid card growth in Italy

The Italian government also took various initiatives to push contactless payments. For example in December 2020, the Italian government announced that consumers in Italy would receive a 10% refund into their bank account for making cashless in-store payments using a credit, debit, or prepaid card or payment app. This Italia Cashless initiative continued in 2021 also. Together with this, the consumer and merchants who will make the highest number of cashless in-store purchases in six months, in a week, in a month, or a year will be eligible for a Super Cashback competition.

The report mentions Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Carrefour SA, Coop Italia scarl, CONAD - Consorzio Nazionale Dettaglianti Scrl, Esselunga SpA, Selex Gruppo Commerciale SpA, Auchan Group SA, Gruppo Eurospin, Crai Secom SpA and Schwarz Beteiligungs GmbH.

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