Analytics: Prepaid’s Secret Sauce

For a company looking to create cost-efficient, targeted marketing campaigns, the statistics derived from the use of a prepaid card is invaluable.  In a consumer promotion, the company offering the reward can easily create the profile of their buyer through the card activation process.  In order to make the card spendable, the cardholder reveals critical demographic data.  Once they begin to utilize the card, the spend data accumulated, clearly outlines where and when the money was spent.  The power occurs when combining the demographic data with the spend information.  The solution created is a decision support system that can be immediately levered against future marketing efforts.  The output suggests:

  • What customers are ready for cross-selling/up-selling offers. 
  • What customers are vulnerable to a competitor and could attrite. 
  • How to improve responses to promotions thereby improving ROI. 
  • When is the best time to message the customer. 

Companies like Clear Peak in Englewood, Colorado, lever the data and create predictive modeling tools that provide immediate insight into a business and its customers.  A sustainable competitive advantage is created when a business captures the knowledge, then utilizes it to convert prospects to customers while protecting their client base from intrusion.  

Prepaid, combined with deep and relevant analytics, delivers this edge. 

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Fishing Grey Reef – Spring 2010

During the first week of April 2010, I was fortunate to spend 4 days fishing the North Platte River for big rainbow trout. For the most part, the weather for the 4 days was overcast, cold (20 to 40 degrees) and windy. The conditions made it imperative to own and utilize the right equipment. I had purchased a lot of new fishing products over the last year, but I was particularly interested to see how my new Smith Optics Mogul Sunglasses performed. These shades are equipped with polarchromic lenses (definition below).

Smith Optics Polarchromic lens technology combines the benefits of glare obliterating polarization with the advantage of photochromic light sensitivity. Available in either Carbonic or Techlite glass, Smith Optics Polarchromic lenses automatically self-adjust their tint in response to ambient UV light conditions creating a tint level which is perfect at all hours of the day. These lenses retain their photochromic properties indefinitely, certainly outliving the life of the frame itself. Spanning a range of approximately 10%-35% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) Polarchromic lenses need only 10-25 seconds to fully transform from light to dark depending on UV light intensity. The result is a lens tint which is perfect at every moment of the day from dawn to dusk particularly at hours when the benefits of polarized are vital but the lens tint has to be light enough to see.

While I understand the basics of the technology used with these sunglasses, I was not clear on what it would do for me on the river?

I must say that the Mogul’s performed beyond expectations.

First: The thick arms of the frame prohibited any light from penetrating the glasses. I never had to cup my hands around my eyes in order to see my targets in the water.

Second: The lenses are amazing. The gloomy weather (limited sun) provided us a constant struggle to locate fish. I saw a lot fish that others could not see.

Third: My eyes were always relaxed. We fished from 7 am (20 degrees) to 7 pm (40 degrees), and the light conditions frequently changed. The lenses smoothly adjusted to the conditions of the day without distraction.

My only advice to Smith Optics; offer spring hinges in the future. My melon is large, and spring hinges would be more accommodating.

If you are going to invest in fishing sunglasses, I highly recommend the Smith Optics Mogul with polarchromic lenses.

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How to Evaluate a Potential Prepaid Card Provider?

Prepaid is still in its infancy as an industry.  Companies currently situated in the space are aggressively jockeying for market share.  Many times a subset of these firms make outrageous capability claims in order to solidify a transaction. 

Organizations looking to prepaid to solve complex business issues must thoroughly evaluate all potential providers before making financial commitments.  The solutions outlined by many prepaid companies often rely on third parties in order to execute their programs. 

Below are many components of the prepaid supply chain that will ultimately impact the customer/cardholder experience as well as the overall investment in the solution. 

  • Program Management: The ongoing consultation that occurs between prepaid professional, and corporations looking for a potential solution. 
  • Integration: APIs used to exchange data between all organizations involved….what cardholder has earned what monies, when and how. 
  • Creative Services: Utilized for the design of a custom prepaid card.  They must adhere to the numerous constraints required by the associations.
  • Card Manufacturing: Raw plastic is converted to a fully functioning prepaid card.  This card includes an encoded magnetic stripe, custom logos and embossed personalization. 
  • Card Fulfillment: Shipping to the cardholder or to the corporation.
  • Transaction Processing: Approves or declines every transaction that is sent to via MasterCard/Visa (and the merchant).  Eventually provides detailed card reporting. 
  • Compliance/Regulatory: PCI/DSS compliant along with being a secured MasterCard/Visa facility. 
  • Cardholder Services: Every cardholder must be able to access card information through an IVR, Web or live operator.
  • Customer Service: Customers must have an assigned service team that they can contact in order to service a complex program.   

Each of these functions are a cost and service center to the company evaluating prepaid.    It is critical that a buyer understands who is ultimately responsible for the program should things go awry.  Furthermore, it would behoove a buyer to understand the benefits of working with a vertically integrated provider where all of the functions listed above are controlled by one vendor.  Single sourcing all of the functions associated with prepaid, guarantees a program is delivered cost effectively, securely and in a timely fashion.

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Working Hard so I can Hunt, Fish and Golf