Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), the largest bank in Slovenia, and Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), a UK e-money issuer and financial technology specialist, have partnered to launch a white-labelled, contactless prepaid MasterCard card and mobile sticker product.
The programme was soft launched at the end of 2015 and following substantial interest from millennial customers, has now been rolled out across all NLB branches in Slovenia.
PFS is both the card issuer and technology provider - responsible for the creation, implementation and management of on-going operations. The project took around 5 months to complete - a much shorter timescale than could be expected for a bank to build its own prepaid infrastructure and 3,000 customers signed up for the product within the first two months.
The solution involved utilising one account accessible by a prepaid card and/or the prepaid sticker. This allows the consumer to be able to transact for small amounts in a contactless environment with both products but only utilise the card for larger amounts. The card and sticker are sold in the NLB branch environment and also are loadable directly from the customer’s NLB bank account. NLB staff use the PFS middleware platform to register cardholder details in branch and to load cash to the prepaid card real-time.
In order to reach a younger, tech-savvy audience, the new NLB prepaid cards and stickers are being promoted via television advertising based on a Star Wars, Matrix and 5th Element parody.
Noel Moran, CEO of PFS said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by NLB Bank to deliver this programme. PFS is continuing to make it easier for banks and financial institutions to launch innovative payment products quickly via our flexible in-house platform by not having to rely on time-consuming updates to their own legacy systems.
Commenting on the choice of product he continued: “Contactless prepaid stickers present an easy way for banks and financial institutions to enter the contactless and mobile payments arena as the technology is included in the chip and not the phone, bypassing the need to partner with a mobile network provider.”
NLB Bank is Slovenia’s largest commercial bank and currently provides bank accounts to over 60% of the population. In 2014 the Bank introduced contactless cards to its own debit and credit card portfolio, a demonstration of its commitment to providing clients with innovative, convenient and secure payment services.
Nataša Dulc Strahinič, Head of Development for Cards at NLB said: “PFS was the obvious partner as they have an impressive track record in delivering payment solutions for mass market deployments for other banks and financial institutions right the way across Europe. Their previous experience and knowledge meant that the project was brought to market both efficiency and effectively allowing us to get on with business as usual in the meantime.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest in the card and it has particularly helped us engage with our younger customers who are keen to try new technologies and also have an eye on better budgeting. The key to its success lies in its convenience and ease of use - the card is simple to acquire, simple to load and has very low fees.”