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Bieber Joins Ex-Addicts Fighting Chase in Prepaid Market - Bloomberg

The allure of the fast-growing U.S. market for prepaid debit cards is pitting niche players like pop star Justin Bieber against financial giants including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and American Express Co. (AXP)

Both Bieber and JPMorgan want to sell more of the cards, a part of the financial services business that holds as much as $1.7 billion in potential fees for banks seeking new revenue streams as they face growing competition and regulation.

Myriad players, including a firm catering to recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, are stepping up with their own products on the theory that some consumers may pay a slight premium for a card with novel functions -- or Bieber's visage printed on it.

"The market for prepaid debit cards and payroll card products continues to grow at lightning speed, with new products racing to compete with mainstream consumer services like checking accounts," Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst with the Boston-based Aite Group, said in an e-mail.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:12:29 PM EST
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