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Lisbon, Portugal, Wednesday 12 September 2012 Transforming cash into electronic money on a prepaid card, voucher or mobile device is about to become easier and more convenient as MasterCard will launch the first voucher-based version of its MasterCard® rePower® service in Europe. 

The MasterCard rePower will allow MasterCard prepaid cardholders a simple, accessible and secure way to load cash at a wide variety of merchant locations across Europe via two different models:

  • Merchants convert cardholder’s cash onto a Ukash voucher which can then be redeemed online at www.mastercardrepower.com (active October 2012). Once the voucher is redeemed, fund become instantly available for the cardholder to spend anywhere MasterCard is accepted. 
  • The cardholder hands over the MasterCard prepaid card and the cash to be loaded to the merchant, who inserts the card into the point of sale (POS) terminal as if it were a regular purchase transaction. The transaction is approved and the card is returned to the cardholder. Funds are immediately credited onto the card.

The new service to be launched later this year was announced today in Lisbon, from MasterCard’s Prepaid Europe conference, an event being staged under the thematic banner of “A World Beyond Cash”. 

Matt Lanford, Head of Prepaid for MasterCard Europe, said: “The launch of voucher-based MasterCard rePower in Europe is particularly timely as the leading men and women in the European prepaid industry are coming together to discuss how prepaid can play a leading role in driving cash out of the continent’s economies”. 

For the voucher solution, MasterCard has partnered with CQR Payment Solutions who will provide acquiring, processing, customer service and a dedicated MasterCard redemption website for the service.  The rePower voucher solution is a European initiative with more voucher providers planned for future months.  The rePower voucher launch will be in November this year. 

Kamran Hedjri, Managing Director of CQR Payment Solutions, comments: “We are very proud of this strategic partnership and look forward to supporting MasterCard in bringing the voucher-based rePower service to the European market by leveraging our experience in the online payments environment.”

For the POS solution, MasterCard developed a specific ‘rePower’ software package, which will allow the reload transaction to be carried out at a regular POS installed by any merchant. MasterCard is working with several partners in the Italian market to implement a nationwide reload capability based on this POS solution.

Matt Lanford added: “By enabling cash electronification to take place at a far wider range of merchants, MasterCard is creating a series of environments where prepaid can be disruptive to the normal flow of cash in our society and where those people bound to cash can take advantage of the security, convenience and control offered by prepaid”.

The European market for cash electronification is fragmented and relies on issuers and programme managers making separate arrangements with merchants directly or through cash load service providers.  The MasterCard rePower provides our partners a unified cash load network with a single processing settlement relationship having the confidence of a trusted well-known brand.

MasterCard rePower also provides merchants with an opportunity to increase footfall and opportunity purchases in store and enables smaller traders to offer a key service which may set them apart from larger competitors. 

Programme managers and issuers participating in the MasterCard rePower load network will be accessing the new industry leading standard for cash transformation which is based on one consolidated load network with fewer contractual relationships and no exclusivity restrictions.

With the overall European prepaid market forecast to be worth $149B by 2017 (according to the Global Prepaid Sizing Study commissioned by MasterCard this year), driven mainly by consumer initiatives, MasterCard rePower has a key role to play in continuing to drive forward the growth of the open-loop consumer prepaid opportunity.  The convenience and speed it provides as a solution to consumers’ need to convert cash to a smarter and safer form of payment will create more opportunities for more people to take advantage of prepaid programmes. 

– Ends –

 For further information, please contact:

 James Page, Weber Shandwick

Tel +44 (0)20 7067 02

jpage@webershandwick.com

 

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

About CQR Payment Solutions

CQR Payment Solutions is an authorised payment institution, providing local and international solutions for acquiring, alternative payment methods and issuing. Through a single-interface online payment platform, CQR offers its partners a choice of over 90 of the world’s most commonly used payment options, enhanced by local currency selection and full language support. CQR can offer either a technical link to payment providers or a merchant account with full cash management service. In 2010 and 2011 CQR was honoured with EGR’s B2B Award ‘Innovation in Payment Solutions’. www.cqrpayments.com

 

About Ukash

Ukash is eMoney; the virtual prepaid programme enabling consumers around the world to shop, pay and play online, using cash – securely and conveniently. Ukash is available from 420,000 outlets in over 55 countries across six continents.

Coins and banknotes are exchanged for a unique 19-digit Ukash code at outlets including shops, petrol stations, ATMs, kiosks or online from the company’s website. The unique code can be used as payment at thousands of websites or loaded onto prepaid cards and eWallets. 

About Prepaid

Prepaid expansion across the world is being driven by a variety of prepaid service providers and issuing banks, which recognise the customer acquisition and retention opportunities that prepaid card programmes can bring. MasterCard works in partnership with these businesses to help them maximise the revenue potential in Europe – one of the most innovative and creative marketplaces in the world.

The Europe region is also a hotbed for prepaid card development, with customised programmes offering specific features and benefits proving a necessity to meet a diverse range of customer needs. MasterCard is able to present one of the industry’s most exciting prepaid programme portfolios to help you succeed in harnessing this potential – with research showing that by 2015, people across Europe will collectively have more than 418 million prepaid payment cards in their pockets at any one time. For more information, go to http://www.mastercard.co.uk/prepaid