March 21, 2011 05:01 ET

International Call Provider Lebara Mobile to Enter Money Share Market

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Lebara, the UK leader in providing high quality, low-cost international mobile call services, today announced the launch of the Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® specifically targeting the UK's growing ethnic communities.

The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard®, developed in conjunction with MasterCard and Newcastle Building Society, will offer customers a safe, speedy and extremely competitive international and domestic money sharing service* through the most trusted brands in the global remittance industry.

The global remittance industry is one of the few sectors that has defied the current recession and is estimated to be worth £500 billion globally. The UK is one of the top 10 remittance-originating countries worldwide, with approximately £2.4 billion recorded outward remittances annually from the UK to the developing world.

The new Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® will be targeted at key payment destination countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, the Philippines, China and Eastern Europe.

The Lebara Group, a privately owned company, was founded in 2001, to offer tailored innovative telecommunications solutions to enable UK customers to keep in touch wherever they are in the world. With recession busting group revenues of €371m and with over 2.5 million active mobile customers worldwide, Lebara is set to bring its midas touch to the money sharing market.

The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® will offer customers a two-card facility allowing the sender and receiver greater control and security, money loading, card-to-card sending and withdrawals. The money is simply loaded onto the UK based card and then moved to the beneficiary's card so they can use the money instantly by just swiping at the vendor's point of sale or getting cash from any ATM displaying the MasterCard Acceptance Mark.

John Warden, Operations Director for NBS said: "NBS is delighted to be partnering with Lebara and MasterCard. We have three experts in their individual fields coming together to provide what will be an extremely strong offering for the UK's ethnic communities. We are confident that the service and dual card facility will give customers a real sense of security and control over their finances."

The entry point for customers is a simple £14.90 to purchase the two linked cards, with transparent fees and charges. The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® also allows customers that have no direct access to a bank account in the UK to take advantage of the service through direct payment and cash loading at over 30,000 Paypoints and Post Office branches across the country.

The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® is the first product to be introduced to the market through Lebara Money, a new sub-brand that along with its sister brands has been designed specifically for the UK's growing ethnic minority audiences.

Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO of Lebara said: "This is the first step into the financial services market for Lebara. Lebara Money will provide tailored solutions for the UK's migrant communities and we aim to revolutionise the market in the same way that we did the mobile communications sector."

Application forms for the Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® will be available online at www.lebara-money.co.uk from March 21st 2011.

*Local laws in India mean that you may not send secondary cards to India for the purposes of money transfer
Source: World Bank 2007

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Notes to Editors:


Lebara's vision is to be the leader in providing low-cost, high quality international mobile services. Lebara Mobile was founded in 2001 as part of the Lebara Group. Lebara was ranked as the UK's fourth fastest-growing private company in the Sunday Times 'Fast Track 100 listing' in 2006, was voted Best Newcomer at the Mobile Industry Awards in 2008, was recognised as delivering the Most Innovative Service at the 2009 Mobile News Awards, and in 2010 won the award for best MVNO at the Mobile News Awards.


MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® is issued by Newcastle Building Society ("NBS") pursuant to licence by MasterCard International. NBS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority as an issuer of e-money (registration no. 156058).

  • The Prepaid Card is an electronic money product and although it is a product regulated by the Financial Services Authority, it is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. No other compensation scheme exists to cover losses claimed in connection with the Prepaid Card. This means that in the event that Newcastle Building Society becomes insolvent your funds may become valueless and unusable and as a result you may lose your money.

Newcastle Building Society:

Newcastle Building Society's Card Solutions Division www.nssl.info Card Solutions offers BIN sponsorship, card issuance, settlement services and complete regulatory compliance.

  • It is currently ranked as the largest provider in UK and Europe by MasterCard® on monies settled, and seventh globally on MasterCard® prepaid network, with over 300 live schemes.
  • It has over 1.25 million of its issued cards active month on month, carrying out over 1,700,000 transactions.
  • The Society is a MasterCard® Principal Member, with the most MasterCard® approved prepaid programmes in the UK.
  • Card Solutions holds a SEPA licence and have live programmes in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Hungary.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110319-lebara_prepaid_mastercard_fig01.jpg

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