So the weekend saw the launch of the Star Trek Prepaid card by CARD.com – beaming down into the US market as highlighted by one of the news channels. The card is licensed by CBS Consumer products and is sure to have Trekkie’s across the galaxy lining up to get their hands on this new financial product.
In the last 18-24 months, we have seen a number of celebrities launch, support and endorse prepaid card products, from the likes of the Kardashian sisters, George Lopez, Suze Orman, Russel Simmons, and April saw Justin Bieber jump on to the bandwagon as well.
In almost all cases, the cards have received significant criticism from consumers, the media and consumer advocates for fees associated with these products and transparency issues.
The Kardahsian Kard was probably the worst of the lot as it led to them terminating their endorsement of the cards less than a month after it was launched (which made sense given their need top protect their image but of course, led to their partners suing them in return for breach of contract!).
Ben Katz, CEO of CARD.com stated at the launch that “We live in a mobile world, and the next generation of banking isn’t tied to a brick-and-mortar institution – it’s in the palm of your hand, thanks to the smartphone. CARD.com gives Star Trek fans a unique way to engage their fandom all while utilizing this forward-thinking financial service.”
Fair enough but only time will tell whether this new product will be adopted and accepted by Trekkie’s or whether this is likely to be consigned to the black hole that seems to have consumed other celebrity endorsed prepaid products.
Amit Sharma, Prepaid industry expert and CEO at Prepaid365,com stated “This is certainly an interesting launch for the US market where previous attempts at endorsements within the prepaid industry have not gone down too well but I think that is down to the fees associated with those particular products. The big issue with celebrity endorsements is that the fee structure is usually designed to account for royalties and license fee payments which pushes the product pricing up. Now that may work if someone were looking to get one of these cards as a souvenir, or if I really needed to have Captain Kirk staring back at me every time I paid for something.”
“As a mass market proposition, it can only really work if the pricing is designed for the target audience. For the Star Trek card, as a fan myself, I would certainly sign up for it even if it was moderately overpriced if it gave me access to some Star Trek extras and therein lies the key, its got to have relevance with the target audience to justify the higher fees” concluded Sharma.
Find out more about the Star Trek Prepaid Card at www.card.com/Star-Trek