Card personalisation
specialist Serverside Group, UK prepaid programme manager Quantum
Card Services and Newcastle Building Society, the largest issuer of
prepaid cards in the country, have teamed up to launch the UK’s
first customisable prepaid card, a single load MasterCard-branded
gift card.


Valentine's giftcardThe card is available in denominations of £20 to £125 ($32
to $202), with cardholders able to personalise the card by
uploading their own images or by selecting a design from the online
gallery provided by Quantum.

Quantum’s first promotion takes advantage of
the run-up to Valentine’s Day on 14 February, with the launch of a
Valentine’s-themed, personalised MasterCard giftcard.

Purchasers of the card have the option to
design their own giftcard and once the chosen image is uploaded,
they can rotate it, flip it, blow it up and move it around via the
vendors’ online ‘card designer’.

Alternatively, an online gallery contains a
number of off-the-shelf images for the less adventurous at

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The Valentine’s Day gift card can be delivered
directly to the intended recipient with a personal message or
question mark on the letter carrying the card.

Prepaid gift cards are not new to the UK, but
with a growing range coming to market issuers and providers are
seeking the extra edge that differentiation can bring.

According to Serverside, through its
experience of offering personalisation services on credit and debit
cards, card customisation has already been proven to result in
increased transactions, acquisition and retention rates, as well as
larger balances.

It also offers an immediate differentiator for
marketing purposes, particularly important in the ultra-competitive
prepaid market.

Since its formation in 2003, Serverside has
pioneered the use of personalisation on payment cards. By the end
of 2009, it was running more than 1,000 card programmes through its
network of around 200 card issuers in 23 countries.

Netherland’s-based digital security vendor
Gemalto acquired a 50.1 percent controlling stake of Serverside in
November last year, with an option to acquire the firm within the
next three to five years (see RBI

By teaming up with Newcastle Card Solutions,
which has already issued over half a million prepaid cards in the
UK, Serverside is confident that prepaid personalisation will be a
strong proposition.

Newcastle Building Society already has over
200 live prepaid and debit card programmes in the gift, teen,
unbanked, travel, corporate and payroll segments.

Serverside Group says it has specifically
adapted its technology to the requirements of the prepaid sector.
Through its partnership with Newcastle Card Solutions, a subsidiary
of Newcastle Building Society, it now offers all prepaid companies
a low-cost entry point into the card customisation market, whether
for single load or reload cards.

Quantum will be marketing the new service
through multiple channels; from online campaigns and competitions
to win tickets, to various live events, to affinity deals with
appropriate third parties, for example, pet and gift websites and
photo processors.

Kriya Patel, head of card solutions at
Newcastle Card Solutions, said: “This is a significant development
in the prepaid cards market and we are glad to be in the driving
seat along with Serverside Group, who are the innovators in this

“Card customisation is a proven revenue
generator and the perfect product for the prepaid card

Personalisation has proven to be a valuable
revenue stream for card issuers and a way to establish lasting
consumer loyalty to a card issuer.

Some issuers offering Serverside’s
personalisation service charge an upfront fee, while others charge
a fee for subsequent replacement card designs. Other issuers have
opted to charge no fee at all in order to appeal to as many
consumers as possible.