Happy New Year! We're kicking off 2017 with the next installment in our series on the 42 benefits of prepaid cards that you might not have known.

Last time, we looked at benefits #29 to #20 that show how prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards provide an easy, secure and cost-effective payment option to public and private sector organizations. This time, our countdown focuses on how prepaid cards can make a huge difference in our day-to-day lives - like helping to prepare or respond to an emergency or even averting one entirely!

Organizations across industries - including oil and gas, telecom, education, and life sciences - offer prepaid cards as an option that can help their customers and employees prepare for and overcome life's challenges. Let's get back to the countdown to see how.

19. Get out-of-town peace of mind: Having a child attending school out of town can keep parents up at night. But prepaid cards can bring peace of mind and help to reduce sleepless nights by working as emergency funds for students who might be out of province or in another country. Backed by major networks, prepaid cards are welcomed wherever Visa or MasterCard is accepted.

18. Provide an educational tool for financial literacy: Parents who want to prepare their children to handle their finances are using prepaid cards as a teaching tool. Prepaid cards provide children with a real-life experience and working budget that parents can oversee, while their children learn the importance of managing personal finance.

17. Provide instant access to funds in remote places: Oil and gas companies provide per diem payments so employees can gain instant access to funds without needing to find an ATM or bank. This is especially important in remote locations where financial institutions and ATMs can be few and far between.

16. Simplify business travel: Global companies use branded prepaid cards for business travel, eliminating credit checks and hefty interest rates on missed payments. Administrators and cardholders can easily track their spending and keep detailed expense records as required.

15. Compensate short-term workers without hassle: Industrial services businesses pay temporary workers daily with reloadable, co-branded prepaid cards that eliminate administration hassles, while ensuring workers receive compensation in a timely manner.

14. Quickly pay out insurance claims without administrative burdens: Insurance companies use prepaid cards to compensate claims recipients instantly in cases of housing disasters or residency displacements. Affected clients can start getting their lives back together more quickly, while insurance companies can deliver a great client experience with less administration.

13. Further educational initiatives without administrative challenges: Colleges and universities provide prepaid cards to faculty for conference and association dues, and for visiting fellowships. This enables easy administration of and adherence to constrained budgets, while enabling educators to grow their knowledge and credibility.

12. Advance global clinical trials: Life sciences and pharmaceutical companies use reloadable, co-branded prepaid cards to cover the cost of prescriptions for global clinical trial participants. The cards ease administrative headaches, while co-branding offers companies a unique opportunity to build their brands and mindshare with consumers.

11. Acknowledge employees with a reward they actually want: Leading organizations from a wide spectrum of industries use prepaid cards to reward and celebrate employee accomplishments, anniversaries, or other notable workplace milestones. Prepaid cards are preferred by Canadian employees two times more than store gift cards and 16 times more than company-branded merchandise.

10. Better manage other forms of compensation: Prepaid cards are a convenient and practical alternative to paper-based payroll processing. Employees can benefit from direct deposit payments, enhanced security, instant access to funds, and fraud protection through Visa or MasterCard payment associations.

To recap, whether you require multiple payment administrators for loading funds, need to set-up automated direct deposits, require more visibility into purchase activity, or want to integrate prepaid card ordering and loading through your own systems, prepaid card solutions can help you design and implement the right program to deliver against your objectives.

Join us next week when we'll round out the countdown with the remaining benefits of prepaid cards and focus on other innovative applications of prepaid cards - including a few that apply to the upcoming tax season.

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