The venture is aimed at personalizing debit cards for younger card users and further spreading the brand image of Angry Birds, the mobile game that has been downloaded more than a billion times. Angry Birds has spread to multiple titles, a line of clothing, toys, and videos. It is an example of an extremely successful brand in the digital age and merchandising gone amok.
The card is the first co-branded prepaid debit card in the U.S. for Rovio. It will be available in early 2013 and is one more in a whole line of silver and black reloadable Visa prepaid debit cards from Kaiku Finance.
Angry Birds debuted in December 2009, and Rovio says it has become the fastest-growing consumer brand and the most downloaded game of all time. This is Rovio’s first foray into personal finance.
Prepaid cards are also growing fast. In 2011, the prepaid-card industry grew by nearly 20 percent, according to the Mercator Advisory Group. Another study by Aite Group study found that prepaid is no longer a card of last resort. Many people who use this type of payment option earn more than $45,000 annually, have a college degree, a checking account, and a credit card.
“Rovio and Kaiku share a common philosophy in that we love to delight our fans with products that are affordable and packed with great features, that fit today’s lifestyle,” said Andrew Stalbow, Rovio’s executive vice president of strategic partnerships and general manager of North America.
The card will have four designs, including the Red Bird, the Yellow Bird, Bomb Bird, and the Bad Piggies. Individuals can load funds with a credit card, bank account, direct deposit, PayPal, or a transfer from another Kaiku card.
“We launched Kaiku with a commitment to be a next-generation prepaid product for all kinds of consumers,” said Jon Round, chief executive of Kaiku Finance.