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Marqeta Inc. has launched a consumer rewards prepaid card in hopes of capturing the success of Starbucks’ loyalty program and spreading that wealth to other merchants.

That work has paid off in a “totally new and fresh idea that represents a good value exchange between the consumer and merchant,” says industry analyst Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group LLC.

“It’s an excellent use of the open-loop prepaid infrastructure provided by Discover, and it broadens the type of customer loyalty that Starbucks enjoys,” Ablowitz says.

“The payments industry has had a constant barrage of mobile payment and merchant deals schemes unfold in the past year or two, but the Marqeta card is one of the better ones I’ve seen,” Ablowitz says.

“It’s a great way for merchants to capture the ‘captive spend,’ to get a guaranteed spend at their stores, plus the money they put in as a loyalty reward is going to be spent at their store,” he adds.

Payments Source, September 19, 2012