MasterCard Worldwide has released a prepaid reloadable travel card with travel industry data and financial solution provider Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). The MasterCard Travel Card, as it is called, is available at ARC’s network of more than 20,000 U.S. travel agent locations, and features MasterCard PayPass functionality in addition to the traditional magnetic stripe. “It is the first prepaid travel card offering in the U.S. to be equipped with contactless technology,” according to MasterCard.
MasterCard Teams with ARC to Launch Prepaid Travel Card
PURCHASE, N.Y., Dec. 3 –MasterCard Worldwide today announced the launch of a prepaid reloadable travel card with travel industry data and financial solution provider Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).
The MasterCard® Travel Card, which is available through ARC’s network of more than 20,000 U.S. travel agent locations, features MasterCard PayPass® functionality in addition to the traditional magnetic stripe. It is the first prepaid travel card offering in the U.S. to be equipped with contactless technology, a sign of the continued advancement of the category in the face of increased cardholder demand.
“The new MasterCard Travel Card offers the utmost convenience to travelers with a sleek, secure and widely accepted payment card that can be used at more than 25 million locations in more than 210 countries,” said Bill Mathis, Executive Vice President, Relationship Management, MasterCard Worldwide. “Travelers no longer need to fumble through foreign currency or carry bulky travelers cheques. Instead, they can simply swipe or Tap & Go and be on their way.”
The MasterCard Travel Card is ideally suited to both domestic and global travelers with a wide range of benefits, including emergency traveler assistance, lost luggage insurance, purchase assurance and zero liability protection for unauthorized transactions in the event the card is lost or stolen. Additionally, cardholders can obtain local currency at any of the more than 1 million ATMs in the MasterCard® ATM Network.
“The combination of MasterCard’s unsurpassed global network and ARC’s team of affiliated travel agents and global base of airlines and railways makes this offering a terrific solution for travelers looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to pay anywhere in the world,” said Chuck Fischer, Director, Business Development & Payment Systems Solutions, Industry Products & Services, ARC. “There is an obvious synergy between MasterCard Worldwide and ARC–a global leader in travel industry settlement–that will enable us to deliver to consumers a more efficient travel experience that benefits all parties involved.”
The agreement between MasterCard and ARC is a move to meet the growing demand for prepaid travel cards. The travel card market in North America is estimated to grow to nearly $9 billion in gross dollar volume by 2010, according to Independent Research commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide, April 2007.
The MasterCard Travel Card is being launched in connection with a relationship with SSB Payment Systems and is available to consumers through ARC’s 20,000 accredited U.S. travel agency locations.
About MasterCard PayPass
MasterCard PayPass is ideal for traditional cash-heavy environments where speed is essential, and has led the way in bringing contactless technology to consumer categories such as quick serve restaurants, drug stores, gas stations, vending machines, convenience stores, sports arenas, movie theaters, transit systems and parking garages. As of 3Q 2007, there are more than 19 million PayPass cards and devices issued globally, and PayPass is currently accepted globally at more than 73,000 merchant locations, including participating 7-Eleven, CVS, McDonald’s, Regal Entertainment Group theaters and many others. PayPass is also accepted at numerous professional football and baseball stadiums. For more information about MasterCard PayPass and a full list of participating merchants, visit http://www.mastercard.com/paypass.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link between financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes close to 16 billion payments each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard Worldwide serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercardworldwide.com/.
ARC is the premier provider of financial settlement solutions and data and analytical services for the travel industry. Airlines, travel agencies, corporate travel departments, railroads, and other travel suppliers process more than $77 billion annually through ARC’s world-class settlement system, making it the financial backbone of travel distribution. ARC COMPASS®, the leading, trusted source for travel transaction information, powers data and analytical tools that help ARC customers make confident business decisions. ARC is an airline-owned company that builds on values of integrity, teamwork, innovation, cost-effectiveness and excellence. For more information, visit http://www.arccorp.com/.
About SSB Payment Systems
SSB Payment Systems LLC develops and manages innovative prepaid payment solutions that give its clients and their customers a better way to pay. By integrating banking, processing and program management, SSB Payment Systems makes it simple and affordable for companies to add a branded prepaid card to their menu of products and services. With the advantages of unmatched industry expertise, best-in-class technology and direct access to financial networks, SSB Payment Systems is helping clients in dynamic vertical markets reduce costs, streamline processes and tap new sources of revenue. To learn more visit http://www.ssbpayments.com/.