Poşta Română launches pre-paid card

Source: Advanced Payment Solutions

Romanians now have the chance to join the "top up and spend" payments revolution with the official launch of the Poşta Română cashplus prepaid MasterCard card on 22 April 2009, the country's first-ever general purpose prepaid payment card.

In partnership with Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS), the leading European provider of prepaid cards, the Poşta Română cashplus prepaid MasterCard card is easy to obtain and offers many additional benefits, making it the alternative consumer choice for purchases compared to cash, credit cards or bank accounts.

Any Romanian aged 18 years+ with an identity card and resident in Romania is eligible to apply and, because prepaid cards do not require credit checks, acceptance is 100 per cent guaranteed. After they activate their cards, cardholders can start spending as soon as money is loaded on the card.

The card can be used like a regular debit or credit card to make purchases or withdraw cash from cash machines. It enables the holder to pay utility and other bills online, protects against carrying large amounts of cash, helps to shop online more safely and take advantage of lower internet prices.

The card can be managed 24/7 online for free or mobile telephones can be used to obtain real time balance and transaction updates via text message at any time free of charge. Customer service help is available by telephone during working hours.

Up to four additional cards can be added, making it a cheap and easy alternative to money transfer for sharing money with friends and family at home and abroad. International travel and spending are also more straightforward than using cash or travellers' cheques.

CHIP and PIN functionality provides added security and fraud protection. The card also offers purchase protection to protect cardholders if purchases don't turn up or the supplier goes out of business. MasterCard is accepted in 28.5 million places around the world.

The card can be obtained initially through six Poşta Română branches in Bucharest(1) and it's easy and free to top up at any of these six branches. Rollout will be expanded further across Poşta Rom&Română's 7,000 branches in due course.

Rich Wagner, Chief Executive Officer, APS, said: "Consumers will find this new way to "top up and spend" by loading money on to the card to use later very straightforward. I am proud that Poşta Română and APS are helping Romanian consumers find the financial freedom that a plastic card provides by offering a new way to spend their hard earned cash safely and securely."

"Poşta Română enters the prepaid cards market in conjunction with two strong and experienced partners: MasterCard and Advanced Payment Solutions. Poşta Română will provide nationwide coverage to this partnership; due to this Poşta Română customers will benefit from a greater flexibility to manage their finances. Cashplus prepaid card will not only be accepted in Poşta Română branches, but also in retail stores, online shops and the ATM network worldwide; wherever the MasterCard sign is displayed. We are excited that some of our own employees will be first to use the new prepaid MasterCard," declared Marius Vatavu, CEO Poşta Română.

Gabriel Ghita, Business Development Manager CEE, MasterCard, said: "It gives us great satisfaction to have launched the first general purpose prepaid card in the region, as well as the first prepaid card in Romania. MasterCard's partnership with APS enables Poşta Română to implement its long term financial strategy and strengthens MasterCard's position as leader in the prepaid payments segment in the region."

The card's many benefits are available for a one-off initial fee of just 18 RON; and a payment of 9.95 RON in any month the card is used or there is money on the account. Included in this the customer receives unlimited purchases denominated in LEI; free purchase protection; free cash withdrawal and top ups inside Poşta Română, free SMS and online account management and free card renewal.

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