2013 Paybefore Awards Europe: Most Innovative Prepaid Solution (June 2013)
Most innovative network branded, closed-loop or RAN prepaid or emerging payments program.
Best in Category: Bratislava City Card
First-to-market integrated prepaid solution loaded with municipal and commercial advantages for residents that includes open- and closed-loop applications.
- First Data
Slovakia’s capital of Bratislava pulled off a great technological leap forward with the introduction of a contactless prepaid card for local residents, giving people of all ages the opportunity to use its tap-to-pay features across the city. The Bratislava City Card is the region’s first open-loop card combining transit, everyday spending, loyalty and access to public sports facilities and museums. Thanks to a unique partnership between local government and businesses, the prepaid card operates at no cost to the city.
One of Bratislava Town Hall’s key goals for the project was encouraging a broad uptake of contactless payment for the city’s public transit system. First Data devised a prepaid card concept bringing public and private commercial interests—including banks and merchants—together to create easy signup opportunities for the card and incentives to use it.
Local banks issue the Maestro-branded cards to citizens, regardless of their credit history or existing banking relationships. Merchants and municipal facilities offer discounts on purchases with the card, and banks get interchange revenue and the opportunity to build new customer relationships. Cardholders pay no additional fees and can reload the prepaid cards online or at local bank branches at no charge.
To encourage usage, the city provides a 10 percent discount on public transit rides with each card use and a discount of 10 to 30 percent on city amenities, such as public swimming pools and the zoo. With its broad availability and handy incentives, the city’s card has succeeded in popularizing tap-and-pay-technology in Bratislava, where consumers can pay at more than 8,000 contactless payment terminals.
Winner: PayPal Access Prepaid MasterCard
- PrePay Solutions
Busy small to midsize business and eBay merchants using PayPal are used to seeing funds pile up in their accounts and are looking for easy and fast access to their funds. PayPal came up with a solution, teaming with PrePay Solutions to create the PayPal Prepaid Access MasterCard for select U.K. PayPal customers. Cardholders may easily access their PayPal via a physical card that can be used at POS and online purchases as well as withdrawing cash at ATMs. The contactless card turns a user’s PayPal account into a more convenient tool, saving time for busy business owners and expanding the channels where they can spend the proceeds of their sales.
Signing up for the card takes only two steps, and a virtual PIN is available immediately for online purchases. The contactless card is free and there is no cost to load PayPal funds into the account. Transactions are debited in real time, and customers can track spending online. For PayPal small to —midsize business customers, having a card that offers more ways to spend funds is just another perk that comes with success.
Innovation is about solving problems and creating new value propositions in the marketplace. Ukash has built an international brand around its service, which solves a big problem for consumers and online merchants—digitizing cash. Ukash codes enable anyone to shop online with cash, even those with no bank or card account. Users can visit more than 460,000 Ukash outlets in 57 countries to convert the full value of their cash to a Ukash code accepted by thousands of Websites around the world. Users pay no fee for the 19-digit Ukash code and receive their “virtual change” from online transactions in the form of a new unique Ukash code. A growing number of Websites are eager to add Ukash as a payment option because it opens their services to a broad range of customers on six continents that previously shied away from e-commerce.
Initially targeting unbanked consumers, Ukash appeals to anyone concerned about online fraud or sharing account details on the Internet, as well as young consumers who want to transact online but are too young to have their own payment cards or accounts. Ukash added a physical and virtual prepaid MasterCard enabling consumers to shop online or in-store anywhere MasterCard is accepted, with a mobile app for iOS and Android devices pointing consumers to their nearest outlet selling Ukash. Boosting its marketing by 40 percent within the last year, Ukash targets consumers, Web merchants and POS outlets with partners including PayPoint, PayZone, 7-Eleven, Telefónica, Esso, Agip and Post Office Ireland.