Phones International boss Peter Jones (pictured) has waded into the new prepay cashcard market with the launch of the On-X MasterCard, which will be sold to various under-served demographics via his distribution company Data Select.
Data Select follows retailers O2 and Phones 4U into the sector.
It has joined with former 20:20 Mobile marketing director Graham Ellerton, now product development director at prepay card company M-Cube, to pilot the prepay debit card in 600 sales outlets through the New Year.
It expects sales of 40,000 units during the period.
The total UK prepay debit card market, which includes the gifting sector, will be worth £17 billion by 2010, said Data Select. Its principle target demographic is around eight million UK residents with no banking privileges.
Data Select chief executive George McPherson said: “Major players have entered the card market in recent months and there are many similarities between the prepay mobile SIM markets and the sub-prime and ethnic remittance demographics.
“We will use our extensive distribution network in retail and wholesale channels to maximise growth.
“The target audiences covered within these markets perfectly compliment the profile associated with prepay card usage. Prepay is worth billions of pounds across Europe and is about to explode in the UK.”
The On-X chip and PIN card is to be made available to the trade at an RRP of £9.99, including VAT.
It can be topped up to a cash value of £650. The limit can be upgraded to £1,650 with provision of personal information. A fully-personalised debit card allows a limit of £3,000.
Cards can be topped up online, and also at Post Office outlets and Payzone points. There is no fee for top-ups, as with other offerings.
Data Select is issuing point-of-sale marketing paraphernalia to specialist retailers for the Q4 push.
Ellerton said: “M-Cube has devised a mass market proposition to compete within this market and as awareness and acceptance of the versatility of prepaid cards grows their adoption will surge. It’s so like the early days of prepay mobile phones. Look at the size of that market now.”