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Link acquires 17% stake in PrePay Technologies

15 June 2006  |  2224 views  |  0 Source: Link Interchange Network

Link Interchange Network Limited (LINK), operator of the UK cash machine network, has acquired a 17% stake in PrePay Technologies Limited (PPT), a market leader in stored value card programmes for major high street retailers in the UK and the company behind the 360money prepaid cash account.

The investment will give Avantra, LINK's commercial outsourcing division, access to PPT's leading-edge expertise and experience in the prepaid cards market, enabling LINK to expand its business and provide additional capital and other resources to PPT.

Under the agreement, PrePay Technologies' proven technical platform and support will be used to create end to end card programmes, which will be marketed to financial institutions and local authorities.

Prepayment enables cash value to be stored on a card account providing a way to make payments for goods and services or withdraw cash. As cardholders can only spend up to the value of the cash on the card there is no risk of going overdrawn. For this reason, prepayment has a wide and increasing range of practical consumer and business applications, from retail gift to corporate incentive cards, travel cards, money transmission cards, benefit payment cards and youth-oriented cash cards.

Steve Smith, Managing Director, Avantra said, "This is an exciting venture for Avantra which further enhances our payments products portfolio. We chose to invest in PrePay Technologies because of its existing presence in the fast-growing prepaid cards market, expertise and track record of delivering programmes to big brands such as Debenhams, Western Union, Arcadia, Laura Ashley and Comet.

"The synergy between LINK, and PrePay Technologies creates a strong partnership that is ideally positioned to support customers wishing to issue prepaid cards in financial services and the public sector."

Philippe Dufour, CEO, PrePay Technologies said, "There is a great deal of common ground between LINK, and PPT. Together with our existing shareholders, GE Capital, GRP Partners and Arts Alliance, we will extend our business into new markets such as local government and the financial services industry, where LINK and Avantra have a strong heritage.

"Customer adoption of prepaid cards is growing as they embrace the ease of use and simplicity of the cards. We are confident that the success we have achieved in the retail and youth markets will be replicated in other areas through our partnership with LINK and Avantra."

As well as providing opportunities for collaboration at the operational level, LINK will be entitled to a seat on the Board of PPT. The value of the investment made by LINK is not being disclosed.

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