New reloadable debit card from Edo targets teens

Edo Interactive has launched the Facecard Prepaid MasterCard, giving teenagers and young adults a new way to spend money and retailers a new way to market to this audience.

The Facecard is a general purpose debit card that consumers sign up for online at Funds can be loaded onto the card via reoccurring direct payments from a bank — a parent, for example, could use this option for a child’s allowance — or from other debit or credit cards and payroll direct deposit.

“This is a non-traditional bank product that is more geared toward leveraging the technology [including Internet and gift cards] that the target market is used to,” said Ed Braswell, president and CEO of Edo Interactive.

A debit card that family members can load money onto as a gift is a “more useful and beneficial” alternative, Braswell said, to gift cards that may go unused because they don’t fit a teenager’s interests.

The Web-based platform supporting these consumer offerings also provides the Facecard with some interesting applica­tions for retailers.

One of these is called Prewards. Mer­chants can create their own campaigns built around an offer to load a specific dol­lar amount onto a card member’s card, set limitations for redemption and communi­cate the offer via e-mail or text message. Offers can be targeted by gender, area code, ZIP code and spending habits.

For example, an electronics merchant might send an e-mail message to male shoppers in areas near its stores, offering $5 on their cards that is only redeemable in-store within 48 hours.

For merchants, a frequency program lets them automatically reward customers with money on their cards when they spend a certain amount within a specific time period. Merchants can also tap the Face­card customer database for surveys and include an offer to load money onto their cards once the survey is completed.

The card was launched mid-May. It is being promoted on MySpace and Face­book, as well as at several large summer concert festivals and on 52 college cam­puses nationwide.

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