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How to Become a Prepaid Card Retailer

April 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 102

Looking for how to become a prepaid card retailer? Demand is strong, the profits are worth it, and many programs are free to get set up. For high traffic locations like convenience and grocery stores, adding a stored value sales program is super easy and profitable. This Ezine article is about how to become a prepaid card retailer for mobile phone minutes, a merchant for reloadable debit cards from Visa and Discover, the go-to location for international long distance, and the convenient spot to pick up a last minute gift with gift cards from national retailers.

For a variety of reasons, this segment is booming. The total dollars loaded onto stored value cards will climb to $672 billion over the next three years with convenience stores the fastest growing segment.

Pay-as-you-go mobile phones services are clearly a huge part of the U.S. wireless market; now 1 in 4 people are on some type of pay-in-advance wireless plan in 2011 according to the New Millennium Research Council. "Top up cards" to add minutes to programs from Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Tracfone, GoPhone, MetroPCS, Cricket, and more are in very high demand at convenience stores.

Plus the growing ranks of the under-banked and budget managers is driving strong growth in reloadable debit cards. Students, young people, and immigrants that do not qualify for credit cards find reloadable debit cards useful for making payments online.

So what do need to know in order to sell prepaid products in your retail store?


1. Determine if selling prepaid is for you.

First, think about your patrons and what they would want. Do you have customers coming in and asking about prepaid cards? That is probably a good sign. Skip directly to recommendation #2.

Ask yourself...

  • Do you have a high percentage of transient patrons on the road?
  • Do you have a high percentage of blue collar workers at your retail locations?
  • Do quite a few immigrants frequent your store?
  • Are you in a low income area?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your store is probably a good candidate. If you serve this type of demographic, then you should begin selling prepaid right away.

Convenience stores that sell petroleum, grocery and general merchandise stores with high traffic are best.

2. Determine what you want to sell.

Do you want to sell pay-as-you-go wireless cell phone minute top-up cards so patrons can pop in and recharge? Do you want to sell reloadable debit cards? What about international long distance calling cards for cheap calls to Mexico and other popular countries? Do you want to carry gift cards from national retailers? What about participating in the State government free cell phone plan for low income people? When you select a service provider, they can help you determine the best mix of what products to stock.

3. Choose a service provider that offers prepaid programs.

Not all prepaid service providers are created equal; some offer a complete portfolio of products for the quick service c-store and grocery vertical and some only have one type of product. Some require set up fees. Some are free. Some can provide credit card processing and stored value cards on the same terminal (and provide them for free). Some cannot. Some have good service and make the set up process easy. Some do not. Some are recognized by the Electronic Transactions Association and some are not.

So how do you choose a provider? You can do all the hard work of research on your own or you can find a trusted merchant consultant that will explain the different programs available from the leading providers, seek to understand your situation and what products you need, then recommend a vetted, proven service provider with a track record of merchant satisfaction.

If you want to do your own research, be sure to compare product portfolios, start up costs, commission schedules, size and sexiness of point-of-sale displays, training cost and availability, liability provisions, term commitments, customer service, BBB profile, and general credibility.

For many people, the simplicity of working with an independent sales consultant is attractive; afterall, they work for you, not service providers. With a consultant, you won't have to worry about the one-size-fits-all approach to sales. You don't have to hassle with every yahoo on the block. Instead, you can feel confident you are working with an industry leader and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the hottest products on the market and an expert in your corner.

4. Submit an application to become a prepaid product retailer

Once you select a service provider that has the best all-around program, the next step is to complete and submit an application. Most programs will require basic information about the business and the owner(s).

Required information to sell prepaid retail:

  • Business and Owner Information
  • Copy of Voided Check
  • Sales Tax Certificate or Number

Required information to sell bill pay products:

  • Same two as prepaid, plus
  • Valid Owner Identification like a Driver's License or Passport
  • Business License
  • Proof of Address (copy of utility bill)
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Copy of Federal Tax ID or First Page of Last Year's Tax Return

Q: Why are there so many requirements?

A: Compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and U.S. Patriot Act (section 352) for Anti-Money Laundering.

5. Schedule training

After your application has been approved, you will want to schedule your first training session. If this is new, there can be a learning curve but it isn't very difficult once your representative walks you through the process but you will definitely need help getting started.

You will also need a program to train employees about how to identify signs of and avoid money laundering schemes. You don't want to have a problem and rely on ignorance as your defense.

6. Start making money

The most important part.

Three important recommendations to consider:

  • Give your prepaid display a nice high visibility location near the cashier.
  • Put stickers on your windows to advertise the new service.
  • Tell everyone that comes into your store about the new prepaid program to increase awareness

Selling prepaid retail can be profitable and the process to get started isn't too complicated; just follow the advice in this article.

Cheers to Prosperity!

G. Jason Schnellbacher is a co-founder of Prineta LLC, a merchant consultant for the prepaid and electronic transaction industry that only works with vetted and tested best-of-breed service provider partners that have a proven record of merchant satisfaction.

For information about how much money you can make selling prepaid cards and recommended providers of prepaid programs to the quick service retail segment, please visit to learn more. Begin Selling Prepaid Cards for Free

Source: EzineArticles
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