Talk is cheap at Polish ATMs

Talk is cheap at Polish ATMs

Polish mobile phone users are being invited to top up their airtime minutes online by cash machine, following an agreement between EFT operator Euronet, and PTK Centertel.

The ATM Re-Charge facility is being made available to customers of Centertel's pre-paid GSM service, 'Idea'. The system enables Idea customers to automatically add minutes to their pre-paid mobile phone accounts online at approximately 450 Euronet ATMs in Poland.

After authorising and processing the transaction, the ATM triggers an electronic credit to the subscriber's pre-paid account. The subscriber's mobile phone then receives an SMS message from Centertel confirming that the account has been credited.

Centertel, a joint venture between national PTT Telekomunikacja Polska and France Telecom Mobiles, is the fifth GSM customer in Central Europe to sign up for the service, and the second in Poland. However, the company is the first to offer online recharging rather than voucher purchases. The facility is also available at Euronet cash machines in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Croatia for customers of ERA GSM, Pannon GSM, EuroTel, and VIPnet.

"The widespread success of similar programmes across Europe has demonstrated great potential for the exploding wireless market in the US as well," says Michael Brown, chairman and CEO of Euronet. "This innovative service adds spontaneity to the pre-payment decision and allows Centertel IDEA subscribers to combine the tasks of purchasing added airtime and withdrawing cash all at the ATM."

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