MasterCard today in partnership with KDDI, a major Japanese mobile operator, announced the launch of the "au WALLET" prepaid card program for 34 million au-brand mobile network subscribers beginning May 21.
This will be one of MasterCard's largest prepaid card programs in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region.
The au WALLET card will enable KDDI's "au" mobile network subscribers to enjoy safer, easier, and more rewarding payment options at any merchant that accepts MasterCard payment cards, either offline or online, in more than 210 countries. In particular, cardholders will be able to shop with ease, assured that their expenditure will remain within the pre-loaded amounts.
The au WALLET card will be easily obtainable without any credit evaluation and can be reloaded at au shops or online. Users can check their balance anytime, anywhere with their au mobile phone.
Under the au WALLET Points Program, cardholders will receive au WALLET Points for every purchase made with the card. Points can be redeemed when paying au phone bills or making other shopping payments.
Ron Hynes, Group Executive of MasterCard's Global Prepaid Solutions, said, "The MasterCard prepaid program is expanding globally, particularly in the APMEA region where the gross dollar value of MasterCard's prepaid card business grew 40% in 2013. The new au WALLET prepaid card is the latest example of our commitment to a World Beyond Cash, where MasterCard is helping to make payments safer, easier and more rewarding than cash."
Takashi Tanaka, President of KDDI, said, "We are excited to expand our value chain with the launch of the au WALLET card which will provide Japanese consumers with seamless, convenient and secure payment experiences both in-store and at online stores. Through our partnership with MasterCard, our customers will be connected to a global acceptance network that enables them to shop at millions of merchants around the world."
Robert Luton, Division President of MasterCard Japan, said, "We are excited to launch this product with KDDI because our two services have great synergy. Japanese consumers are savvy users of electronnic payments, so we are thrilled to support them with innovative technology. We are delighted that through this partnership, we will provide Japanese cardholders additional value-added payment options, while further expanding MasterCard's presence in Japan."