Over the last few quarters, prepaid cards have emerged as a valuable alternative to cash for consumers in Africa and the Middle East region. The growth in the adoption of prepaid card payment methods in this region is primarily because of the rise in technology-driven products and services. Moreover, governments are persuading the consumers in the region to use cashless payment methods such as digital and mobile wallets, thereby supporting the growth of prepaid cards in the region.

Prepaid cards are also gaining increasing adoption among consumers who do not have a good credit score or an existing bank account in the region. Moreover, prepaid cards are also gaining growing traction among students, expatriate workers, and blue-collar service providers, as the payment solution offers a range of services such as sending remittances, payroll processing, gifting, government benefit disbursement, and several others.

Global prepaid card processing platforms expanding operations in the region:

As more and more consumers shifting towards prepaid cards and digital payment solutions in the region, global prepaid card processing platforms are expanding their services and investing in this region. For instance,

  • In July 2021, QPS Global, the Indian FinTech firm, announced that the firm is planning to expand its services for consumers in the Middle East and will invest a total of US$10 million for its expansion. Notably, the firm has also secured a deal of issuing 2.3 million prepaid cards across the Middle Eastern market. Similarly, CoreCard, the US-based card processing platform, also announced its expansion in Africa and the Middle East region in October 2020.

    FinTech platforms launching innovative prepaid card solutions in Africa and the Middle East region:

    Across the Middle East countries, FinTech startups are innovating with their product offerings and are launching innovative prepaid card solutions for consumers in their respective regions. For instance,
  • In September 2021, Thawani Technologies, a FinTech startup based in Oman, announced the launch of an innovative prepaid card for consumers in the country. The Thawani Mojab Prepaid Card, which is connected to the virtual wallet offered by the firm, allows users to make local and international payments. Notably, the firm launched the prepaid payment card in a strategic partnership with Bank Dhofar and Visa. The first of its kind and innovative prepaid card solution does not include any banking information on the plastic card. For instance, it is a numberless Visa prepaid card that does have a CVV code as well.