We sat down with our president and founder and CPPO executive director, Jennifer Tramontana, to talk about the significance of the CPPO Prepaid Symposium and the Canadian payments market.


How did you get involved in the prepaid space in Canada?

I started in prepaid in the U.S. in 2005 with the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association. The industry was just getting off the ground and it was a struggle to get media and consumers to pay attention to this “fringe” product. I quickly learned the value of prepaid as a tool for consumers, businesses and governments and now work with multiple associations and businesses who use it to promote loyalty, faster payments and financial inclusion.

Seeing prepaid propel in the U.S. paired with my deep Canadian roots (Yes, I am a U.S. transplant), I wanted to be a part of prepaid flourishing in Canada, too. In 2015, I co-founded the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO). The CPPO is a not-for-profit organization and the collective voice of the open-loop prepaid payments industry in Canada.

What prepaid trends are happening in Canada?

In Canada, we are just scratching the surface with respect to the potential for prepaid. In the last five years, Canada has witnessed an expansion of prepaid beyond gift cards into loyalty and incentive programs, corporate payments to replace checks, disaster relief payments and now general spending tools to replace or complement a bank account.

As a CAD$3.1B market, prepaid in Canada isn’t tiny, but its potential is huge. I think we will see a big expansion with consumers as they adopt prepaid to manage their spending and as businesses learn how prepaid is an exceptional tool to cut costs and make payments more efficient. I am looking forward to hearing the content at our inaugural CPPO Prepaid Symposium being held in Toronto in May.

Tell me more about the CPPO Prepaid Symposium.

Since launching in Canada in 2015, CPPO has taken substantial steps to build awareness about prepaid products. With this momentum, the CPPO board wanted to further commit to bringing key players together to talk about the big issues facing the prepaid community and the future of digital payments.

The inaugural CPPO Prepaid Symposium will be held on May 23, 2017 in Toronto, with the keynote speaker being Payments Canada’s Board Chair, Eileen Mercier. The symposium will cover topics, including: Canadian prepaid market size, financial inclusion, future of KYC, lessons from the U.S. prepaid market and the regulatory landscape.

For more information about the CPPO Prepaid Symposium, click here.

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