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2013 Paybefore Awards: Best Prepaid Card or Packaging Design

Most impactful or innovative design of a prepaid form factor, such as a card, fob or other means, and/or packaging.

 Ian Collins

Ian Collins, Simple


Best-in-Category: Simple Visa

Transparent, functional and modern packaging that uses recycled cardstock with laser-burned typeface to extend the concept of the Simple brand.

  • Simple

The design and packaging of the Simple Visa debit card are reflective of the Simple brand: transparent, functional and modern. The card, a spending vehicle attached to Simple’s branchless banking services, is delivered in a StayFlat mailing envelope and proprietary cardbacker, featuring a clean, modern design that appeals to young professionals looking for an elegant alternative to otherwise undifferentiated retail financial services.

Since card delivery and activation is the first touch point with a new cardholder, Simple aims to make the process a memorable one that underscores the company’s values. The card’s unique aesthetic is apparent right out of the box—literally. The perforated cardbacker transforms into a fully functional chipboard and rubber band wallet, which Simple customers can use to carry their Simple Visa in “simple” style. The minimalist color scheme, laser-burned typeface (instead of ink), and streamlined text that tells cardholders only what they need to activate the card also set Simple’s packaging apart. The standard legal information and fine print is available on the Simple Website and via Simple’s intuitive iOS and Android mobile apps.

Simple’s card aesthetic carries through beyond activation. The chipboard wallet says “Cash” on one side and “Card” on the other, encouraging customers to ditch their multicard wallets.

And while blue and white dominate the Simple Visa’s color scheme, the card is plenty green; the streamlined packing and mailing materials are recycled and recyclable, and the lack of paper documents further reduces waste, appealing to eco-conscious cardholders.

Customers have responded to Simple’s fresh approach since the card’s May 2011 launch. With more than 200,000 invites requested and 30,000 cardholders, Simple designed a card that’s true to its name.



Winner: NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card and PayPal Prepaid MasterCard J-Hook Packaging

  • NetSpend
  • PayPal

The ever-increasing number of prepaid options in the retail distribution space might be good news for the industry as a whole—signaling growing demand—but it also makes it more difficult for a particular card product to stand out among the competition. To meet that challenge when designing a pair of prepaid card packages launched in 2012, NetSpend and card manufacturer CPI Card Group relied heavily on packaging that featured prominent branding and crisp, clean design—along with some unique features—to set the cards apart from the pack.

The NetSpend Visa Prepaid Debit Card and the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, for which NetSpend is the program manager, are available through NetSpend’s 50,000-retailer-strong distribution network in clear blister displays that prominently feature the logos of the well-known brands involved. The packaging is the first on the market to enable magnetic stripe and barcode POS activation and is specially shaped to accommodate additional collateral required to meet legal and informational requirements.

The packaging material’s heat-seal technology is safe, secure and tamper-evident to help protect against fraud, while an easy-open feature enables customers to remove the card without having to get out the scissors. In the increasingly competitive retail distribution environment, the unique and innovative features of NetSpend and PayPal’s card packaging make for a pair of products that are true standouts.  

Winner: Vanilla MasterCard Gift 3-Card Multipack for Sam’s Club 

  • InComm
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  

Members of Sam’s Club know a good bargain when they see one. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and InComm’s Vanilla MasterCard 3-Card Multipack provides club members with a unique method of buying multiple gift cards at a reduced price, thanks to a single-fee activation system that enables all three cards to be activated with a scan of one package at the register.

Since launching in July 2012, the multipack has drawn plenty of interest from Sam’s Club members. The efficiency and savings of buying three cards in one package is especially well-suited to the retailer’s small business members, who are able to cost-effectively purchase gift cards several at a time for use as employee rewards and incentives.

Each card included in the pack features a unique design, enabling gift-givers to pick the best-suited option for each recipient and occasion. The individual cards are partially visible within the package, but sensitive card data is safely obscured. Silver foil and metallic ink lend the packaging an eye-catching flair to draw attention at point-of-sale displays, while less packaging material per card reduces waste and results in a smaller carbon footprint than individually packaged cards.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 8:31 pm and is filed under Awards, Awards Global.


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