Telefónica O2 Ireland has launched a new prepay money card, 'O2 Money', marking an expansion by the company into the financial services market.
O2 Money has been developed by O2 in conjunction with 3V Transaction Services Ltd, an Irish Payments company providing innovative prepaid debit solutions across the globe with live deployments in Ireland, mainland Europe and North America.
Established in 2005 and headquartered in Dublin, 3V Transaction Services Ltd will provide the end to end operating platform for 'O2 Money'.
The O2 Money card is neither a credit nor a traditional debit card, but rather a prepay money card onto which money is loaded in advance of it being used. Because of this customers can only spend what they put onto the card, helping them to manage their budget more effectively. It offers all the benefits and flexibility of a chip-and-pin payments card in addition to the security and control of a prepay card. O2's banking partner for O2 Money is R Raphael & Sons plc, a UK bank which specialises in card payment services.
Speaking about the partnership, Kieron Guilfoyle, CEO 3V Transaction Services Ltd, said, "We are thrilled to be O2's payments company of choice for their innovative new 'O2 Money' product. Having pioneered payments products in Ireland over the last six years we are very aware of the increasing consumer demand for a product offering that is both flexible and has multiple integration capabilities.
The continued shift towards convergent technologies and in particular the demand within the mobile telecommunications sector has resulted in the Mobile Network Operators becoming a key focus for 3V Transaction Services Ltd, designing product delivery with the mobile handset as the primary customer interface. For an Irish technology company to be selected by O2 is recognition of our abilities in this space and an endorsement we hope will generate future opportunities in both Ireland and mainland Europe."
Commenting on the launch, O2's new CEO, Stephen Shurrock, said, "Today's launch marks a major milestone for O2 in Ireland. With an existing preppay mobile customer base of one million, O2 is highly experienced in the provision of prepay services and the introduction of a prepay money card is a natural and exciting progression for us. This first financial services product from O2 marks the start of the convergence of the mobile phone and the wallet, and firmly positions us at the forefront of this trend in Ireland."
Guilfoyle continued, "The potential within the Mobile market is considerable as Network Operators look for new avenues to reinvigorate decreasing subscriber spend by developing new channels of engagement for handsets. For instance there is no reason why everyday services like taking a taxi or ordering a pizza could not shift towards online payment transactions via handsets. The benefits of developing such services for both the consumer and the service operator are considerable and in Ireland we have seen O2 take these first steps with the provision of O2 'Money' for its subscribers."
The card is available to purchase in O2 Stores nationwide by customers of any Irish mobile operator who are over 18 years of age. Customers can load (top-up) anything from €20 to €350 per day onto their card which, because it operates on the Visa platform, can be used almost anywhere that accepts electronic Visa payments, at home or abroad, in-store or online. As such the card can be used however the customer wants to use it - for everyday purchases such as groceries in their local supermarket, to purchase clothes or to book flights or concert tickets online. Whenever customers need to load or top-up their O2 Money card they can do so via their internet banking or in any O2 retail store or in over 1,500 Payzone outlets nationwide.