(TVLW) 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(R) Travel Card, which is available through ARC’s network of more than 20,000 U.S. travel agent locations, features MasterCard PayPass(R) 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(R) 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.