Phones4u launches Mastercard prepaid cards

Phones4U is to go head-to-head with O2 in the financial services market, with the launch of two Mastercard prepaid cards.

Escape Card

The mobile retailer will target ethnic minorities and lower socio-economic communities with the Escape card, and 13-to-18 year old consumers with its Neon card.

The launch of the new prepaid card this month will roll out progressively across its 450 stores in the UK.

Managing director of EZ Pay, which owns Phones4u, Paul Smith, says marketing activity will be led by social media and heavyweight PR activity. There will also be radio promotions and advertorials and competitions in magazine titles such as Nuts, Take a Break and Woman’s Own.

Smith says the major point of difference between the Phones4u and O2 services is that only O2 customers will be able to use its prepaid cards, while the former will not limit the offering to customers belonging to a certain mobile operator.

The O2 Money cards, launched in partnership with Visa, consists of the Cash Manager card aimed at adults and the Load & Go targeted at teenagers from the age of 13.

Smith says Phones4u is aiming to sell between 10,000 to 12,000 prepaid cards every month by the first quarter of next year.

As an incentive, it will also offer loyalty features including a shopping rewards scheme at over 1,000 retailers when buying online, including iTunes, Next, Curry, Look and Lovefilm.

Young consumers will also be prevented from using the prepaid card for accessing gaming, alcohol or adult content.

Further, ethnic minorities will be able to use the card to send money overseas to family and friends without paying a transfer fee.

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