Virgin Money makes prepaid move

Virgin Money is launching a prepaid debit card in a bid to cash in on the “virtual bank account” market.

The card, which has been developed by financial services specialist PrePay Technologies, will launch this week and be backed by a marketing campaign.

It marks the first high profile launch by Virgin Money since the appointment of Jayne Anne-Gadhia, although the card has been in development since September.

Anne-Gadhia says the product is “true” to Virgin Money’s brand values and will enable the company to “deliver on the Virgin Money promise of providing customers with a better deal”.

The Virgin Money prepaid Mastercard is not attached to a bank account and can be loaded with cash through PayPoint and Post Office outlets across the UK, wage transfers, credit or debit cards online and bank transfers.

The marketing will target consumers seeking “convenience” and everyday purchases. The prepaid market in the UK is growing quickly, with brands including FHM and TalkSport putting their names to cards. They offer consumers, such as “unbankables” and teenagers not old enough to carry plastic, the opportunity to pay by card online or in retail outlets.

PrePay Technologies also works with Mirror Group Newspapers, the Arcadia Group and Debenhams on prepaid and gift cards.

Virgin Money is also developing a biodegradable card aimed at eco-conscious consumers (MW April 26). The card is likely to be coloured green – a departure from Virgin’s usual red.

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