The United States excels in financial service innovation. One growing trend within the financial services industry is the market segmentation developing within the prepaid debit card space.
The relatively new “KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card” is a great example of this trend. In years gone by, the prepaid debit card market consisted of: 1) various “gift card” products; and 2) a sizable portion of the population who either couldn’t qualify for a credit card or who preferred to remain as anonymous as possible. In either case, prepaid cards were often referred to as “the card of last resort.”
In recent years, this stigma attached to prepaid cards has been undergoing a steady reversal. Just in the past year, we have seen a number of new entrants into the prepaid card market. In prior weeks, I have highlighted other prepaid cards for you, the most recent being a card issued by American Express: www.examiner.com/article/the-democratization-of-american-express.
These “higher profile” prepaid cards have caught on due to several factors, including: 1) the escalating number and variety of bank charges; 2) lingering impacts of the economic downturn triggered five years ago by the mortgage crisis; and 3) a growing desire to enable college students to cover daily expenses without a credit card.
I asked KAIKU’s CEO, Jon Round, to highlight the distinctive differences between the KAIKU card and other currently available prepaid cards. He said that KAIKU has been focused upon the introduction of: “the next generation of prepaid cards—feature-rich card products with low, limited, and transparent fees… a card that has broad appeal and can be a life-style experience.”
During our interaction, I asked Jon which market segment KAIKU targets. He replied: “We do not deliberately target an ‘average’ customer. Instead, we offer a product so flexible and rich with features that each card can be adapted by the holder to fit personal, unique needs. Our customers are increasingly budget conscious and savvy, seeking products that meet their needs and offer ‘value for the money’.”
In order to ensure a top quality product and experience for each KAIKU cardholder, KAIKU has the advantage of leveraging its relationship with its “issuing bank” – First California Bank – to ensure compliance with the Cardholder Identification Program (CIP). KAIKU does this by requiring all card users to enroll through its website: KAIKU.COM. Through this standard enrollment protocol, the KAIKU card program seeks to ensure that each customer receives the best possible customer support. Jon reports that this process has proven to result in “a better quality of cardholder as well as a more consistent cardholder experience!”
Jon and his team feel that KAIKU is making tremendous strides in abolishing the notion that a prepaid card is only “the card of last resort”. Now, people from a wide range of ages, positions, and economic means can proudly obtain and use a prepaid card for special purposes or for everyday use. Each customer can tailor their usage to meet their unique needs.
For specific details on fees, features, ATM network, etc. visit kaiku.com!