Magazine article American Banker

MAC Introduces Prepaid Phone Card

Magazine article American Banker

MAC Introduces Prepaid Phone Card

Article excerpt

The operator of the MAC electronic banking network has introduced a prepaid phone card -- the first in a series of products expected to culminate in a storedvalue smart card.

Money Access Service, the division of Electronic Payment Services Inc., Wilmington, Del., that runs MAC, said its telephone calling service will include discounted long-distance rates.

Unlike other prepaid calling cards on the market, which are thrown away when their value is used up, the MAC phone accounts are replenishable.

The prepaid phone card will be piloted with seven MAC-member financial institutions in the Middle Atlantic region by the end of this month. It is to be available to all MAC members and their cardholders in December.

"The MAC prepaid phone card is the first in a series of MAC products that will familiarize the public with the general concept of stored value," said John R. Beran, president of Money Access Service.

Next year, EPS and the MAC network plan to introduce in Delaware an open-system stored value program, using smart cards accepted by multiple merchants. Funds will be transferable directly from the chip embedded in MAC ATM cards, without the need for an on-line communication between store and bank.

Like its precursor, the prepaid phone card, the MAC smart card also will be replenishable.

EPS worked with Bottom Line Telecommunications, of Vancouver, Wash., a leading provider of prepaid calling card services, to produce the MAC phone card. …

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