An influential trade group today warned traditional banks that prepaid is likely to be the future engine behind mobile wallets.

Mobey Forum sees the continuing advance of mobile payment services creating new opportunities for prepaid. But more than this, the proliferation of the prepaid model is also opening doors for mobile payment services, enabling innovative deployments by merchants and other stakeholders and encouraging wider spread user adoption as a result.

Some prepaid providers are developing suites of financial services that seek to compete head to head with the current accounts of traditional banks. Should these services be rolled into a mobile wallet environment they will be exposed to customer demographic of predominantly affluent, technically curious, early adopter mobile wallet end users. Business won here is likely to be at the direct expense of the traditional banking industry.

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