Visa CEO: Prepaid is a $3 Trillion Market

Visa DebitVisa, Inc. (NYSE:V) announced their third quarter earnings yesterday, once again beating Wall Street estimates. Visa reported an Earning Per Share of $0.97 and revenue of $2.03 billion during its fiscal third quarter which ended June 30, 2010. While Visa does not break out the prepaid debit category in its financial results (although it has previously been suggested that Visa will start reporting separate prepaid debit numbers), they did spend time discussing the prepaid market in their earnings call.

Visa’s debit card volumes continue to grow significantly. In the earnings call, Joseph Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc., spent some time discussing the prepaid debit card market (spending a relatively significant amount of the earnings call on the topic).

Mr. Saunders sees huge opportunity in the space, stating that: “in the US we believe this [prepaid debit] is a $1 trillion potential market while globally it could be as high as $3 trillion.

Mr. Saunders also discussed their progress in prepaid and gave further details of their view of the prepaid market size and opportunity, stating:

We also continue to make very nice headway in the prepaid space, not only here in the US but in a number of regions globally. Prepaid, which is a natural extension of our already successful debit presence, is a business that we have been in for quite some time in the US and in which we are seeing enormous opportunity internationally.

Domestically we currently run 66 different programs with 38 States for government disbursements. In the health care arena, seven of the top 10 insurance companies offer Visa spending account cards.

Other important categories in which we are active and have been quite successful include gift cards, general purpose reloadable cards, and payroll programs, to name a few.

Stacked up against worldwide Visa payment volume for the 12 months through March of $2.7 trillion, it’s easy to see that even a nominal penetration of this market could be needle moving for us.

The largest opportunity globally is penetrating the under banked segment with general purposed reloadable cards. The under banked includes both the under served, those who don’t have access to mainstream financial services, and those that choose (for a wide variety of reasons) alternative financial services.

In the US, about 80 million individuals fall into the under banked category. Globally the underbanked may be a majority of consumers. Our success in debit in the U.S. should provide key advantages as we further penetrate the prepaid space.

Visa, start breaking out the prepaid debit numbers in your reports separately so we can follow along with your progress!

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