Just ahead of the holiday season, VISA U.S.A. announced this week it has expanded its suite of prepaid products to include the “VISA Gift” card. The new card includes four primary product applications targeting consumers, employers, and corporate clients. According to VISA, prepaid products are designed to serve a large market opportunity comprised of mostly cash and check transactions estimated to be more than $2 trillion. VISA estimates the overall market for gift cards to be nearly $300 billion, which corresponds to approximately $174 billion for consumer gift cards and another $124 billion for commercial applications. The four distinct product applications within the “VISA Gift” card category include consumer load for consumer gift-giving; commercial/corporate load for employee bonus/incentive; commercial/corporate load for consumer rebate; and, commercial/corporate load for promotional participants such as special events, sponsorships, contests, grand openings or other promotions. The card can be issued on a personalized or non-personalized basis. It can also be disposable or reloadable. VISA says some members have begun issuance of “VISA Gift” including Bank of America, Fleet, and MBNA (AAA co-branded gift card). VISA’s prepaid products include “VISA Buxx” and “VISA Payroll.” For more information about VISA visit www.visa.com.