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    How innovation is driving prepaid card adoption

    July 29, 2020

    In 2019, $4.8 billion in total dollars was loaded onto open-loop prepaid cards; a 12 per cent increase over the previous year, according to The Canadian Prepaid Ecosystem 2020.  The study, which was conducted by Mercator Advisory Group, analyzed 74 incumbents and new fintech entrants, who are using prepaid as a platform to introduce new and innovative digital banking and payment products in Canada.


    The Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO), in collaboration with FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS), recently released this information as part of the first ever Canadian prepaid heatmap. Celero is pleased to be featured on the heatmap with the Aura platform alongside our partner, STACK (now Credit Sesame Canada).


    Innovative capabilities attracting consumers


    The heatmap shows a steady increase in consumers loading their prepaid cards, with a notable 20 per cent jump from 2015 to 2016. For consumers, innovative features and capabilities are contributing to their choice to use prepaid cards, including:

    • Real-time, faster payroll
    • No fee banking, FX
    • Customized rewards and loyalty
    • Feature-rich mobile app
    • Faster benefit claim processing and payment

    And for small-to-medium enterprises, they are seeing value in:

    • Real-time, faster payroll
    • No fee banking
    • Feature-rich mobile app
    • Digital receipt capture
    • Lock card, review transactions, load money, transfer funds, pay bills

    Market forces impacting Canadian prepaid market


    With more than three-quarters of Canadians conducting most of their banking transactions via digital channels, significant opportunities exist in the continuous development of innovative, user-centric capabilities and digital solutions in Canada. Innovation in the pre-paid space has lead to an increase in adoption for consumers and small-to-medium enterprises. The heatmap also looked at the broader impact of the market in prepaid market, including:

    1. Competition from banks and large fintechs
    2. Challenger banks and tech giants gaining traction
    3. Changing regulatory landscape

    Celero’s prepaid journey


    In 2019, Celero started analyzing the payments market and knew that with the retirement of the Global Payments Card, there would be a gap. Celero met with many credit unions and did external research to conclude that a prepaid card would be the best solution for credit unions and their members.


    Our product development process started and we looked for a partner and found that a leading fintech disruptor, STACK was the best fit as a partner for Celero and the Aura platform. The Aura app includes innovative features like goal setting, national, regional and local offers with real-time rewards, peer to peer transfers and bill split. Celero launched Aura at the 2019 Digital X conference, signed on Sunova Credit Union as our pilot and have since launched the full program along with the instant issuance program and the #Loyal2Local initiative.


    Access to The Canadian Prepaid Ecosystem 2020 heatmap and 40-page analysis report is available to CPPO members. For further information on membership, contact


    Contact us to learn more about Aura or to sign up.


    Related posts:

    How Osoyoos Credit Union is leveraging Aura™ in their community

    Introducing the Aura™ instant issuance program

    5 Reasons Your Credit Union Will Love Aura

    Celero and STACK partner to launch Aura, a national digital member experience and loyalty platform


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