Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Prepaid Phone Cards Offer Banks Multiple Marketing Options

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Prepaid Phone Cards Offer Banks Multiple Marketing Options

Article excerpt

Anyone traveling to Europe recently would likely have noticed the proliferation of prepaid phone cards in use there, many of which carry advertising on them. Such cards also are catching on in the U.S., with cards being sold at supermarkets and other retailers. Bankers can now offer their customers a reliable prepaid phone card that carries the bank's logo on it and even audio messages that the customer hears when using the card.

The Corporation for American Banking (CAB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ABA, has endorsed and sponsored SmarTel Communications, Inc., to offer prepaid phone cards to banks. Through this program, banks can use the cards as a marketing tool to attract new customers, generate additional business from existing customers, or motivate employees.

With the SmarTel program, banks are able to choose from five phone-card products. These are:

* Promotional phone--used to promote branch openings, reward new-account or new-loan referrals, or thank current customers for their business, among other possibilities.

* Business phone cards--frequently used as a "leave behind" for business customers.

* Credit-card linked phone cards--a tie-in feature to differentiate a bank's card program from the competition's.

* Interactive phone cards-for accessing enhanced services such as market surveys, reward programs, automated sweepstakes, quizzes, or other customized interactive programs. …

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