Altair launches 'Fashion Rocks' pre-paid contactless card
10 December 2007 | 2123 views | 0
Source: Altair Financial Services International
Leading prepaid card service provider and transaction processing company, Altair Financial Services International Plc (Altair) teamed up with MasterCard to create a limited edition Swarovski Fashion Rocks prepaid 'Tap & Go' card, featuring MasterCard PayPass contactless payments technology.
Altair also worked with MasterCard to launch the UK's first MasterCard PayPass contactless payments program in September this year.
The exclusive cards were distributed to MasterCard's guests from customer financial institutions attending Swarovski Fashion Rocks for the Prince's Trust 2007, the music and fashion event. The cards were preloaded with £10 and, for one night only, guests were able to 'Tap & Go' when buying drinks at the North Circle Bar in the Royal Albert Hall, which was fully PayPass-enabled.
Altair sees a growing interest among retail, entertainment and event companies planning to implement branded prepaid contactless card programs in 2008.
Altair Chief Executive Officer, Lee Britton comments, "There is a growing interest among retail, entertainment and event companies, that are planning to implement branded prepaid contactless card programs in early 2008. Currently Altair is working toward rolling out several contactless prepaid card programs throughout the UK in early 2008. A prepaid card with contactless technology is ideal for high-volume systems such as transportation, ticketing, FMCG, petrol self-service and purchasing of small value items, and other situations where long queues are inevitable.
"Implementing a prepaid card program with contactless technology is an exceptional opportunity for companies looking to cut queuing times, increase footfall and reduce the risks of cash handling. Unlike credit, application for a prepaid product is not reliant on a credit rating, so application acceptance is nearly 100%. These cards have full MasterCard functionality, and are not restricted to low value purchases. If a customer makes a purchase over £10 for example, they simply enter their PIN in the usual way to complete the transaction.
"For events, attendees usually only have a few minutes during intermissions to make their way to the refreshments counter, only to meet a long queues and a bottleneck at the counter. The cards are designed to provide greater expediency, convenience and satisfaction at the point-of-sale - which is of growing value to the competitive retail sector. Apart from the practical benefits, the cards display innovation and a way to put the client's brand in the wallet of their customer."
Contactless card programs are already very popular in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and PayPass is now found on 19 million cards in 20 countries. According to payments industry association APACS, 5m cards will be available to use at 100,000 retailers in the UK by the end of next year.