Most large companies and businesses have a bonus or reward system in place. With the advancement of human resources and better understanding of the psychology involved in getting the best out of staff, businesses have discovered the power of rewards. Rewarding employees is proven to be not only good for the individual’s morale but also for the morale of the whole company. Rewards work to motivate employees, helping them to work at their best and showing them that their hard work is noticed and valued.
Research shows that employees prefer to receive prepaid cards rather than vouchers or cash. It may be the case that cash gives the appearance of being the ‘easy’ option for reward and vouchers are less easy to use and limited in where they may be used.
For large companies who issue a significant number of prepaid cards, the opportunity exists to have their card branded with a specific design. This kind of visual association can help reinforce a sense of loyalty towards the business and add positive associations and enhance the presence of the employer.
Prepaid cards are payment cards linked, normally, to the MasterCard or Visa networks. These cards hold funds which are drawn upon when the card is used to make a payment. They require authorisation each time they are used to ensure the balance of the card is not exceeded.
Prepaid cards are offered by a number of providers, and some are co-branded with media or retail partners. Regardless of the branding, pre-paid Visa and MasterCards can be used in any outlet which accepts on-line authorised cards of that brand.
Prepaid Cards as Rewards
Research on behalf of MasterCard suggested that the use of prepaid payment cards as a means of reward for employees was set to increase by 36 percent by 2017. One reason for this increase is the simplicity of administering the scheme. Employers can load cards with exact amounts of cash online.
When using traditional vouchers, employers were restricted to a specific retailer or group of retailers and could issue vouchers only in defined denominations. Feedback from users also reported that voucher use was not a preferred means of issuing rewards due to the complexity of using multiple vouchers or having to identify the retail outlets where vouchers were accepted.
The online nature of loading prepaid cards means that employers do not have security worries around storing large quantities of either cash or vouchers in their premises. Nor is there the requirement to maintain onerous separate systems for recording vouchers numbers and to whom each was issued.
Research carried out by the Incentive Research Foundation found that almost 75 percent of employers using prepaid cards as a reward found them to be the most effective, or among the most effective means of reward. The same research showed that employees who received the gift cards found them to be a good reward or the best of all rewards which they had received. The preference for prepaid cards was shown to be seven times higher than the preference for the cash.
This ease of use and administration, security and the high regard in which prepaid cards are held by employees are among the reasons cited by employers who use prepaid cards as a means of reward.
Using Prepaid Cards
Users have fewer limitations when using a prepaid card. The card is simply presented to the supplier at the time of purchase and is processed through the normal card terminal. Some prepaid cards operate a ‘chip and signature’ means of authorising the purchase rather than the more common ‘chip and PIN’ device; the user will sign the card receipt to show they are present and approve the card use, rather than entering a PIN using the terminal keypad.
Rather than checking a printed list of retailers which accept a voucher and being limited in what they can purchase, users simply need to check if Visa or MasterCard is accepted. This universal acceptance gives the user almost unlimited potential to enjoy their reward. They can enjoy everything from skydiving to dining out, live shows to day spas.
About the Author
By Gavin Whittaker
Gavin Whittaker is a finance journalist with years of experience. To Gavin, there could hardly be more exciting topics than explaining the advantages of currency cards, presenting new technologies for credit card safety and analysing the financial markets. Gavin recommends Tuxedo, a leader in the field of currency cards and prepaid technologies. You can find more of Gavin’s insight on these issues at a wide variety of blogs, online- and print-magazines.