Incentives for research participants can take many forms, from cash and coupons to physical items and gift cards. At the end of the day, all that matters is that it’s something compelling enough to drive participation from your target audience. And what many audiences want are virtual prepaid cards.
Virtual prepaid cards — that is, preloaded name-brand cards such as Visa or Mastercard — are great for researchers to reward survey respondents, panel members, and other research participants. Their advantages benefit not only the sender, but the recipients as well. Understanding why digital prepaid cards are an effective research incentive is as easy as A-B-C.
READ MORE: 3 Things to Consider Before Rewarding With a Mastercard International Gift Card
Virtual prepaid cards such as Visa and Mastercard are available in several major currencies, including U.S. and Canadian dollars, British pounds, and euros. But they’re actually accepted in more than 150 countries, with the issuer automatically making the currency conversion and deducting the appropriate value. Because of their worldwide availability and usability, virtual prepaid cards are a great incentive option for research programs that involve participants from multiple countries.
It’s no secret that almost everyone loves getting gift cards. National Retail Federation surveys have shown them to be the most requested gift year after year, and the prepaid card market is expected to hit $2.7 trillion by 2026. The main advantage for recipients is the flexibility of prepaid cards like Visas and Mastercards, since they can typically be used everywhere those credit cards are accepted. Unlike a brand-specific gift card, virtual prepaid cards allow the recipient to shop wherever they want and to divide the value of the card among different retailers.
The convenience of virtual prepaid cards for the sender is undeniable, but that convenience also benefits the recipients. They are sent digitally via email, so your research participants can get their incentive immediately upon completing the survey or other task — no waiting for a “snail mail” delivery. Also, as mobile payments become more widely accepted, recipients can add their virtual rewards to a mobile wallet like Apple Pay and spend it in many physical stores with just a tap.
Because of the advantages that digital prepaid cards provide for recipients, they make a compelling reward offer that will help increase your response rates and participation. It also allows researchers to send a single reward that appeals to a wide variety of people. Especially if your project is targeting the general public or a large age range, prepaid rewards may be the perfect solution.
When you use BHN Rewards for prepaid rewards, you can integrate those incentives directly with many leading research platforms. See our full list of integrations here!