Nomad, Europe’s leading prepaid card processor has successfully worked
with IDT to launch the Prime Card, the UK’s first fully functional
instant issue prepaid card in conjunction with MasterCardÂ®.
The IDT Prime Card, launched via its wholly owned bank, IDT Financial
services is the UK’s first instant issue prepaid MasterCard that can be
purchased over the counter with no identification or bank account. The
Prime Card was launched on a trial basis (West London and Slough) late
in 2006 and will be available nationwide in early 2007. The Prime Card
is accepted by almost 25 million retailers Worldwide, wherever the
MasterCard acceptance mark is displayed.
Aimed primarily at the four million people in the UK who do not have
access to a bank account the Prime Card allows them to have the benefits
of plastic without the exposure to debt.
Nomad ( www.nomadsoft.com ), a MasterCard
approved processor began working on the Prime Card project with IDT in
February 2006. The company was chosen ahead of a number of suppliers by
IDT because of its history in the payments processing market where it
has worked with some of the most prestigious financial institutions in
the world and because of its success on a number of high profile
projects in the relatively new prepaid sector.
According to Max Balfour, EVP strategic business development at Nomad,
“IDT required Nomad to provide processing services on this multi-faceted
project having just established a bank in Gibralter. This enabled them
to become MasterCard members and we were tasked with integrating the
company’s existing technology with the Nomad CORTEX processing solution
to deliver a prepaid technology platform.”
IDT sells hundreds of millions of prepaid calling cards per year and
processes millions of transactions itself every day on its existing
platform However, integrating this technology with the processing
ability of Nomad was straight forward thanks to the flexibility and
scalability of the NPS solution.
Nomad can offer a single solution to those looking to enter the prepaid
market, as John Lees, VP sales at Nomad Software says “During the last
12 months it has become clear that the role of payments processor has
extended beyond the provision of a scalable, flexible and cost effective
payments platform. The payments processor is often the facilitator of
introductions and connections to key partners such as bin sponsors, card
schemes and card and PIN production companies. This level of support is
particularly needed in new markets where experience and good quality
advice can be hard to find.”
On the Prime Card project IDT took Nomad’s full core offering which
includes: authorisation; card management; account management; clearing
and settlement; web service API; call centre application; card
production; PIN production; extracts / reporting; management information.
As well as the way in which it opens up the benefits associated with
credit cards to customers the Prime Card is also remarkable because it
is one of the first prepaid cards that exploits open loop technology.
Open loop technology simply means that the Prime Card can be used
wherever the MasterCard acceptance mark is shown, as opposed to a Gift
Card which can only be spent with the specific retailer or shopping
centre (known as closed loop).
Open loop technology clearly defines Nomad and IDT as amongst the first
to be fully capable of exploiting the enormous potential of open loop
prepaid cards. A recent report from leading consultancy, Mercator
Advisory Group found that that total spending across all open network
prepaid segments in 2005 was $14.1 billion, a massive $10 billion
increase on 2004. Plus, according to other research the open prepaid
market is set to grow at 32% per annum reaching a total in 2009 of over
The report said that financial institutions should pay close attention
to the increasing adoption of merchant retail locations as a place where
consumers acquire their open system prepaid cards, since it creates an
important new channel.
With the IDT Prime Card due to be rolled out nationwide and with many
other projects in the pipeline it is a very exciting time for IDT and
Nomad as they continue to develop their offering in the prepaid market.
Nomad has a well-deserved reputation for delivering innovation in card
payments to its clients. Nomad processing services continues this trend
by leading the way with a fit-for purpose prepaid capability for
issuers, which meets the requirements of international scheme open-loop
prepaid cards, featuring cardholder web service capability.
The service manages all of the complexities surrounding card processing
on behalf of members, including card and PIN production, customer
service facilities, fulfillment and transaction authorisation. Members
are free to focus on their core business, confident in offering a
flexible range of competitive products to their customers cost-effectively.
Building on its expertise in debit card processing Nomad has extended
its specialised knowledge base and has harnessed the prestigious
underlying Nomad Cortex software to deliver a service which genuinely
and cost-effectively caters for pre-paid cards and all of their specific