Market Research Firms Move Toward Visa Reward Cards | Virtual Incentives Blog

Market research firms move toward Visa Reward Cards for participant payments

In a year marketing research companies will issue hundreds of millions of dollars to their survey and panel participants. Buying bulk gift cards and issuing reward checks has become a time-consuming, yet necessary part of the business. That’s why, more and more are discovering the power of virtual prepaid cards, available through companies like Virtual Incentives.

Of course, sometimes, these Virtual Visa® gift cards aren’t cards at all. They’re online gift cards that give marketing research firms the power to deliver rewards quickly and efficiently. (Actual, physical, reloadable Visa cards are still available, however.) This saves administrative time, and participants appreciate the convenience and speed of the rewards, which increases compliance.

Using virtual gift cards for research compensation

So how are marketing firms using prepaid virtual Visa cards for payments?

  • Ongoing panel members receive re-loadable Visa cards. They receive rewards immediately as they fulfill the requirements of the study.
  • Survey and focus group participants earn single-load Visa® cards, which they can redeem anywhere.
  • Online survey takers receive Virtual Visa® cards via e-mail.

Compared to cash and checks, these firms have discovered that Virtual Visa® cards from Virtual Incentives are far more secure and effective forms of compensation than traditional incentives. Let’s take a look at the benefits:

  • Reduces risk of check fraud and lost or stolen checks.


  • Improves participant response and compliance, since recipients prefer prepaid cards over cash


  • Enhances brand experience and presentation, as cards customized with logos or other artwork become a mobile billboard


  • Improves flexibility, allowing research to comply with non-cash requirements or other regulations


  • Streamlines management of payment programs, as Virtual Incentives handles loading and fulfillment


  • Drives better research through more satisfied participants, as virtual gift cards are proven to be the most popular reward.

Have you ever used a virtual incentive to drive participation in a research program?