Driven by the bad economy and the needs of the unbanked and under-banked segments, prepaid cards are currently the hottest financial products and have seen significant growth in recent years. Other significant segments are payroll cards and in-store gift cards. According to a Mastercard report the prepaid cards market will surpass $440 billion by 2017 in the U.S. and it sees prepaid cards as the key to its growth. Although the unbanked and under-banked segments have been the traditional drivers of the growth in prepaid cards, Mastercard believes that interest in prepaid will increasingly come from another segment: affluent and banked customers looking to divide up and budget their spending.
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