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What's Ahead for Prepaid in Canada: A Q&A with Peoples Group's Jeremy Bornstein

In an interview with the CPPO, Peoples Group’s Chief Revenue Officer Jeremy Bornstein shared what’s behind prepaid’s immense growth, how it’s driving digital payments innovation, what use cases are gaining traction and what's ahead for the industry.

What do you think is the biggest force propelling the prepaid market’s growth today?

We are fortunate to live in Canada for the abundance of opportunity, green space, equality, and somewhere on that list of good fortune, we are generally well served by our banks. While nearly all Canadians have access to financial services, big banking has left a number of segments and niches underserved. With the ease of developing an app, sponsor banks like Peoples Group, and our community of program managers and fintechs is driving the continued growth in the prepaid market. We are filling those ignored corners of banking by using the flexible prepaid platform to construct compelling value propositions.

What’s on the horizon for prepaid for digital payments innovation? Where is Peoples investing its attention here?

We are bullish on prepaid. Prepaid remains the most flexible tool in a fintech’s arsenal – it is the gateway to all sorts of consumer and business payments from the usual access to cash to the unusual way to access a loan, refund, dividend or benefit. It’s challenging at times to describe the limits and I’m amazed at the creativity our partners are using to solve problems with prepaid. We are continuing to invest in our risk and compliance capabilities to support this growth in volume and use case.

What’s the biggest prepaid innovation use case you’re seeing today?

Every few years there is something in banking that is “hot” – we are in the thick of the SMB and EWA trend, and we expect to see sustained innovation, growth and activity providing enhanced solutions to small and medium-sized businesses and hourly workers, two historically neglected segments in Canada. We are really excited to support fintech innovations in these spaces, both are large and ripe for innovation – plus getting it right will have significant implications on Canada’s economy.

What’s next for prepaid innovation over the next 1-5 years?

When prepaid came onto the scene in Canada 15 years ago, it would have been difficult to predict the crypto, BNPL, EWA, and neo banking use cases we take for granted today. We don’t have a crystal ball on what tomorrow’s use cases will be, but we are certain the pace of innovation and the adoption of prepaid to access and enable that innovation will continue to accelerate. We are honored to be a part of the industry and helping to support that growth.


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