March 29, 2011 13:01 ET

Lebara Mobile Launches New Brand to Target International Money Share Market

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

Lebara, the UK leader in providing high quality, low-cost international mobile call services, today announced the launch of a new sub-brand Lebara Money that will offer the UK's growing ethnic minority population a range of bespoke financial services and products.

The first product to be launched is the Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® in partnership with leading global payments company MasterCard. The card, which started rolling out the service on March 21, offers customers a safe, speedy and extremely competitive money sharing service through the most trusted brands in the industry.

Launched in 2001, Lebara has steadily positioned itself as one of the most innovative MVNOs with an aggressive, highly strategic and community tailored marketing approach. Serving nine ethnic corridors including the 2.5 million strong south Asian community as well as the African and Caribbean, Chinese, Filipino and Eastern European communities in the UK, Lebara has defied the recession and maintained a steady growth thanks to its powerful community based campaigns.

Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO of Lebara said of the move: "Lebara made making calls home easy, efficient and affordable. We want to offer customers the same high level of service and peace of mind when they send their hard earned money home. Working with NBS and MasterCard a leader in the global remittance field will ensure that this is exactly what they get at all times."

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*.

Commenting on the marketing strategy, Yoganathan added: "We have had great success with our targeted approach for the SIM cards, which gives us a fantastic base to start marketing the Money Sharing Service to. And we've got a few interesting events and activities lined up for the coming months. The key is to understand and mirror the characteristics and habits of each of our target audiences and truly become their service provider and partner."

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.

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.

Yoganathan ends: "For Lebara, communication is not just about connecting people on the phone. Our customers connect with their family and friends in their home country in many ways, and sending money home to their families is one of the most important reasons for them being in the UK. Introducing financial services was the natural next step in our commitment to provide them with a complete communications solution."

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

** Source: World Bank

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.

In March 2011 the company continued to gain recognition for its achievements, winning the award for Best MVNO for the second year, as well as the award for Best Customer Service at this year's 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 first photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110329-lebara_money_pic_mar29.jpg

To view the second photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110329-lebara_mastercard_pic_mar29.jpg

Contact Information

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