The ability to offer the right incentives for study participants or survey respondents is important for market research firms and clinical studies. Researchers must ensure participants remain engaged throughout the entire process, as well as encourage them to partake in future studies. This is where the type of incentive used to entice participants can make a researcher's job easier.
More market research firms are recognizing the value prepaid cards have for consumers, how easy they are to distribute, and how cost-efficient they are.
Market research firms who use prepaid cards want to:
- Better attract potential participants to raise respondent rates, retention and satisfaction
- Compensate participants more cost-effectively than using cash or issuing cheques
- Pay survey respondents instantly with virtual cards
New research shows consumers value prepaid cards. According to a 2014 U.S. Federal Reserve Study, 44% of millennial respondents and 35% of Generation Xers reported owning prepaid cards. The study also dispelled long-held stereotypes of prepaid cards as being for just the underbanked. The groups who saw the largest increase in prepaid card ownership and strong intention for continued use were individuals in the two highest income brackets ($50k-$99.99k/year and $100k+/year).
Why are a growing number of individuals valuing prepaid cards and using them more? The answer is simple. Prepaid's flexibility provides the consumer choice and hassle free payments. Cards can be spent at any retail or online store worldwide that accepts credit card payments allowing consumers to purchase whatever they desire.
Why Prepaid Instead of Cash or Cheques?
Paying with cash raises a host of risks for your business. It's a pain having someone go to a bank to withdraw cash, separate them into particular amounts for each participant and find a way to keep it in a safe area before distribution. For research firms that have groups of participants coming into their offices, paying with cash raises a large safety concern for your organization. Strangers now know your office is holding large quantities of cash. This could potentially open your firm up to unwanted risk.
In the case where market research firms are using cheques to compensate participants, prepaid cards offer an attractive alternative. Estimates have found the cost to issue one cheque (when factoring in administrative, materials, handling, printing and authorization costs) can be as high as $17. Using our online portal Conductor, firms can load a batch of prepaid cards in less time and for a fraction of a cheque's cost. To make it even more convenient, cards can be distributed on the spot, or mailed directly to the recipient.
Consumers prefer prepaid cards because they are cash-equivalent incentives that don't require the hassle of bank deposits. Individuals activate cards with a simple phone call or by visiting a website and are free to spend their money at any retail or online store that accepts credit card payments.
Online Surveys & Virtual Prepaid Cards
Eliminate the act of mailing cheques to online survey respondents or rewarding them with retail gift cards. Virtual prepaid credit cards offer a cost-effective compensation alternative that is more highly valued by consumers and will better incentivize individuals to fill out the survey. Virtual prepaid cards offer all the same perks as their physical counterparts while saving firms money on postage/mail packaging and card manufacturing.
The most important benefit they offer is instant gratification. Individuals are immediately rewarded with their virtual prepaid card, which can appear on the screen once they've successfully completed the survey and/or sent via email. Knowing they will receive payment immediately is an extremely attractive factor to enticing potential respondents to participate.