MasterCard Introduces MasterCard rePower™: A New Way to Prepay

MasterCard Introduces MasterCard rePower™: A New Way to Prepay

Opens Up New Acceptance Opportunities for Financial Institutions and Helps Reduce Prepaid Airtime Reload Costs for Wireless Carriers

Purchase, NY, November 17, 2003–Continuing to strengthen its momentum in the prepay arena, MasterCard International today announced the introduction of MasterCard rePower™, a payment mechanism that provides cardholders with a new way to reload a prepaid or stored-value account using their MasterCard debit or credit card. MasterCard rePower opens up a new acceptance opportunity for MasterCard’s customers and provides value-added services for prepaid service providers, including wireless carriers, while helping to reduce prepaid reload costs.

“MasterCard is focused on providing our customers with new payment solutions designed to empower cardholders with the fastest, safest and most convenient ways to pay,” said Murdo Munro, vice president m-Commerce/Wireless, MasterCard International. “MasterCard rePower offers a new way for cardholders to prepay anytime, anywhere they want using their
MasterCard card instead of cash.”

Initially, MasterCard rePower will enable cardholders to reload their prepaid mobile phone accounts. In the future, MasterCard plans to expand MasterCard rePower to enable the replenishment of gift cards, prepaid MasterCard cards, and stored value accounts such as transit and tolls.

“In the U.S., prepaid telecoms have emerged as a multi-billion dollar industry, accounting for more than $9 billion in total wireless and wireline revenues in 2002,” said Edward Kountz, senior analyst in the Emerging Technology Solutions practice at TowerGroup, a financial services research and consulting firm. “This new channel offers financial institutions and mobile operators a significant opportunity for growth.”

In the U.S., Chase will be the first bank offering MasterCard rePower to their cardholders who purchase prepaid airtime for their Cingular phones. Additional issuers and network operators will be added to the service in the coming months.

“Chase recognizes that prepaid services, especially prepaid mobile phones, represent a rapidly expanding business opportunity in the U.S. With MasterCard rePower, we provide our cardholders with a convenient and secure cash alternative and an opportunity for us to grow our business,” commented Roman Koifman, vice president, JPMorgan Chase.

In South Africa, MasterCard rePower is enabling South African consumers and merchants to use their debit or credit to purchase prepaid airtime from the regions’ three major providers of cell phone service for a variety of uses, such as prepaid mobile phones and payphones.

“In South Africa, MasterCard payment cards have generated more than $100 million a year in GDV and have facilitated remarkable growth in the prepaid payphone market. We welcome MasterCard rePower as an easy, accessible and consumer friendly
alternative to paper voucher reloads,” said Pieter van Wyk, deputy operating executive, Absa Card Division.

MasterCard rePower Value Proposition

This new payment solution benefits all partners involved in a prepaid payment transaction including issuing and acquiring financial institutions, merchants (wireless carriers) and cardholders.

Benefits for financial institutions:

Provides cardholders new opportunities to use their payment cards instead of cash, and consequently drives issuer and acquirer Gross Dollar Volume Increases customer loyalty and retention Requires minimal implementation effort for issuers and no acquirer infrastructure development

Benefits for wireless carriers:

  • Significantly reduces the overhead costs of cash handling, distribution costs of current airtime sales methods and scratch card and voucher fraud
  • Minimizes the effort involved in prepaid reloads, increasing overall user satisfaction
  • Creates opportunity for greater sales volumes, higher tickets and increased revenue as purchases are not limited to cash on hand or to scratch card and voucher availability
  • Direct issuer marketing to cardholders raises overall awareness of MasterCard rePower and participating wireless carriers

Benefits for cardholders:

Provides cardholders with increased flexibility allowing them to use their existing debit or credit cards to reload prepaid accounts, anytime and anywhere.

Cardholders can choose from up to five options for reloads:

  • Phone (dialing a toll free Interactive Voice Response [IVR] number)
  • Mobile text messaging or SMS
  • Internet
  • Scheduled automatic reload or recurring payment on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Provides cardholders with better financial control with individualized spending limits and the ability to monitor usage with transaction history available on the MasterCard rePower website

How MasterCard rePower Works

Cardholders register for the service by phone or the Internet. Using the MasterCard rePower website at, cardholders register with their participating financial institution in the U.S. or their wireless carrier in South Africa. Cardholders provide their contact and payment information, their mobile phone number(s) and then select a rePower code or password for future authentication. Once registered, a cardholder need not provide detailed payment information again to use the service. Payment details are stored in a secure, password-protected account for them to access whenever they’d like to replenish their prepaid accounts using their registered debit or credit card.