gotalk launches Australia's First PrePaid Telco Visa Card
- 05 December, 2006 16:28
<p>PRESS RELEASE: Sydney, Australia,
Tuesday 5th December 2006
gotalk to launch Australia’s first telco prepaid Visa card
• “The gotalk bopo card is a revolution in money management and spending. gotalk bopo is a fully functional prepaid Visa card that offers endless possibilities to help customers control their internet and mobile phone bills – not to mention their online shopping.” - CEO Steve Picton. (contacts:0416 269 177 or Terry Quinn 0439 710 418 or go to www.gotalk.com)</p>
<p>• According to Visa, prepaid cards are a growing worldwide trend in personal money management and are one of the fastest growing products in the payments industry. During 2005, it is estimated close to US$300 billion was spent on prepaid cards worldwide. By the middle of next decade that figure is expected to rise to US one trillion dollars annually.</p>
<p>• To date, the only real choices for today’s consumer were a debit or credit card but, as we have seen in the phone market, there is very strong demand for prepaid products. Well over 50 percent of mobile phone calls in Australia are prepaid.”
gotalk limited, a full service telecommunications provider and the nation’s largest phone card distributor, will become the first telco in Australia to launch a branded version of the new bopo prepaid Visa card.
The bopo card, Australia’s first general purpose reloadable prepaid Visa card, was launched by Bill Express earlier this year through its subsidiary bopo Cards (Australia) Pty Ltd. Bill Express is focussed on electronic product distribution, payments processing and in-store promotion media.
The gotalk bopo card will be available for purchase by gotalk’s customers and is being rolled out Tuesday 5th December.
Users can load money to the gotalk bopo card at more than 3,400 Bill Express locations across Australia. They can have a maximum card balance of $1000 and can load up to $2000 worth of deposits within a 30-day period. For higher transactions limits cardholders must complete a standard 100-point identity check.
gotalk bopo cards can be linked – for example parents to children – and funds can be transferred in real time between the linked cards via a simple SMS. The transferred funds are generally available for use within a minute or two.
The card is issued by Cuscal Limited, formerly known as the Credit Union Services Corporation (Australia) Limited. It can be used in Australia or overseas at any store or automatic teller machine that electronically accepts a Visa card – that’s more than 24 million locations and over 924,000 ATMs worldwide.
gotalk says its bopo card offers many of the features, but few of the risks, of full-scale credit cards:
• The convenience of a Visa card without the need to have a credit card
• A secure alternative for shopping and paying bills online
• The ability to transfer money to friends and relatives by SMS with linked cards
• Keeps your personal bank account separate when you buy online
• No credit check requirements
• No fixed monthly or annual fees – bopo has a pay as you go system
• Cash loading available at more than 3,400 Bill Express newsagents across Australia
• Convenient internet only statements
• Balance enquiries available via SMS
• Convenient way to pay kids their pocket money - while still controlling their spending
“Apart from its many features, the gotalk bopo card will be of particular interest and convenience to our broadband internet, mobile phone and VoIP customers as a way to manage costs,” Mr. Picton said.
“It will also be significantly more secure for internet purchases as you are not exposing any links to your bank account or credit cards.
“gotalk bopo offers all the convenience of a credit card - but it is prepaid and you only spend the amount you prepay onto your gotalk bopo card.
“The gotalk bopo card is essentially a stand-alone facility. It is not linked to any other account and this differentiates it from a debit card,” Mr Picton said.
“If the card is lost or stolen all you have to do is let us know and the card will be stopped and replaced. This can be done via SMS to gotalk bopo or call our 24-hour customer service centre. A replacement card is issued and funds are transferred to the new gotalk bopo card.”
Mr. Picton said because gotalk bopo users can only spend money they prepay to their card, it is convenient for people unable to get a credit card. It still allows them the convenience of electronic payment and cash access facilities.
No annual or monthly fees are charged. Instead, Bill Express has introduced a reasonably priced pay as you go system for using the card.
gotalk limited is an Australian owned, publicly unlisted, fast growing, full service telco company with sales in excess of $160 million per annum and over 280 staff Australia wide.
In August, parent company Telecorp Limited debuted at No 262 in the prestigious BRW fastest growing Top 500 Private Companies list (entitled "The Boom Continues" BRW Magazine August 10th - September 13th). In the same month, the Board voted to change the parent company name from Telecorp to gotalk limited.
gotalk provides a range of wholesale and retail telecommunication services through its own state-of-the-art exchange switching centre in Sydney's Castlereagh Street, which handles over a billion international minutes per year. This equates to 20 per cent of all Australian outbound international call traffic.
The telco continues to develop and deliver innovative products via a unique Universal Recharge account available to customers to better manage and share their telco spend across a range of prepaid mobile, internet, broadband voice (VoIP) and phonecard services all from the one account. gotalk also provides a range of post paid products including fixed line voice, mobile, broadband and dial up internet and broadband voice (VoIP).
One of the main strengths of gotalk is its ability to distribute products through its CardCall subsidiary, which has a 25,000 strong retailer and 7,000 re-seller network in Australia and New Zealand. CardCall is also a preferred distributor of Optus Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. gotalk also has a large operations centre located at Robina on Queensland's Gold Coast, while its corporate offices are located in Sydney and Auckland.
gotalk has established strong corporate partnerships with Harvey Norman, BP, Caltex, Woolworths, Coles, Domayne, Dick Smith, Tandy and Harris Technology. gotalk's distribution network recently expanded considerably when Australia Post agreed to carry its products in post offices throughout Australia.
About Bill Express Limited
Bill Express Limited is a publicly listed Australian company (ASX: BXP) focused on electronic product distribution, payments processing and in store promotional media. The primary convergent elements of the company include:</p>
• DialTime is an electronic distribution system for pre-paid products and services across in excess of 14,000 locations around Australia;</p>
• Bill EXPRESS® processes in person, internet and over the phone payments.
• The in person electronic bill payment service is the second largest national bill payment network after Australia Post;
• mobileEFT enables businesses to collect credit card payments for goods and services through a mobile or fixed-line telephone;
• bopo Pre-paid Visa Cards – a pre-paid fully functional Visa consumer payment card that can be topped up at 3,400 Bill Express locations across Australia; and</p>
<p>In Store Media
• POPS (Point of Purchase Screens) and POD TV (Point of Decision TV) – a network that promotes Bill Express Limited's and other products at the point of sale and in store aisles.</p>
<p>About Cuscal Limited</p>
<p>Cuscal Limited is the leading business-to-business provider of wholesale banking and transactional services to more than 130 retail financial institutions in Australia. Cuscal is regulated by APRA in the same way as major banks and has held a AA- credit ranking from Standard and Poors since 1997.
Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
Visa is the leading payment brand in Australia, with more than 12 million Visa-branded cards in the country. For the 12 months ended December 2005, AU$135 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Australia using Visa cards. Visa Australia's internet address is www.visa.com.au.</p>