Timothy H. Murphy, MasterCard's group executive of core products, used his speech at the annual ATM Debit & Prepaid Forum, hosted by SourceMedia Inc., in Las Vegas, to exhort financial institutions to become more daring in the prepaid market. "Prepaid is no longer a niche opportunity for financial institutions," he said. "It joins credit and debit at the core. … The time is indeed now to build out your prepaid relationships." MasterCard has pinned some of its hopes on prepaid going so far as to launch a Spanish-language advertising campaign about its "Everyday Prepaid" reloadable products. But prepaid still remains the province of mostly third-party providers, and Murphy said after his speech that convincing financial institutions to invest in the relatively nascent field remains somewhat difficult, since "some of the gift programs in the past have had a thinner profitability, so I think people are looking back at that," he said. Programs currently in the market are going to have to demonstrate their value to financial institutions, he said. "I wouldn't say they're beating down the door yet but there's some interest and people are trying to get it done, they see the value."

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