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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Adine Deford, the Editor, Michael Krems, Xenia von Wedel

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Prepaid Financial Services Launch MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard Card in Botswana

LONDON, November 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

- Ground breaking industry collaboration to introduce a more financially inclusive payment solution

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has announced the launch of the MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card in Botswana, in a move that introduces more innovative and financially inclusive payment solutions to the country.  The prepaid card is a collaboration between PFS, Prepaid Debit Card Services (PDS), Kingdom Bank Africa Limited and MasterCard Worldwide, and will introduce more convenient, quicker and safer ways to transact to Botswana's citizens.

The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card is available in Botswana's local currency, the Pula (BWP), and represents the first MasterCard Prepaid card to be launched and issued in Botswana. This introduction of a prepaid payment solution will assist stakeholders develop a more financially inclusive and modernised economy, by empowering consumers, businesses, retailers and the government to operate more efficiently with less dependence on cash.

The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard allows cardholders to load funds with ease using their debit or credit cards, a bank transfer, or by loading cash directly at registered locations, for those customers without bank accounts.  Purchases such as mobile airtime, groceries, tickets for events and travel can be made, and the prepaid card will also enable cardholders to pre-load funds to use the card as an electronic savings wallet, helping cardholders save funds for larger purchases.

Noel Moran, CEO of PFS stated: "The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card launch is another example of the growing adoption of prepaid cards in developing countries across the globe. PFS is uniquely positioned to provide full end-to-end prepaid solutions to clients and their customers throughout Africa, in collaboration with our partners.  This launch represents the first of many programmes that PFS will roll out in the region, and we are delighted to be leading these prepaid developments across the African continent."

"The prepaid card removes the need to carry cash, and will give users access to electronic payments via ATM's and point of sale (POS) terminals across Botswana, and at 33 million MasterCard acceptance locations around the world," commented Charlton Goredema, market manager, Southern Africa, MasterCard Worldwide. "The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card is expected to appeal to consumers who are conscious about budgeting and money management, as well as those who are risk averse and looking to reduce their exposure to fraud.  A formal bank account is not required to apply for the card, which means that the safety and convenience offered by this innovative product can be accessed by all of Botswana's citizens."

"With features such as SMS account management, real time card blocking by SMS, and the ability to have linked primary and secondary cards, the MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card allows cardholders to share money with other cardholders.  Parents can now provide their children with access to funds while exercising a degree of financial control, helping to educate these young adults to budget and manage their money without the risk of getting themselves into debt," Moran added.

In the near future users will also be able to make bill payments for utilities such as water, electricity, gas, cable TV, mobile phones and broadband, by using their MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card and further enhancements are already underway to allow users to purchase their card and load it with cash at various stores and retail outlets across Botswana.

Favor Kelapile Marebole, Group Managing Director at Prepaid Debit Card Services, was delighted with the launch and commented: "The launch of the MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card in Botswana, in partnership with reputable global payments service providers like PFS and MasterCard, is a key milestone in our efforts to address challenges faced by the country's under-banked and unbanked communities."

"These challenges are mostly felt by the poor and middle income communities in rural areas - almost 36% of the total Botswana population.  We are excited about the positive implications that this payment solution will have for these citizens, a sentiment echoed by all stakeholders including public sector organisations, NGOs and the private sector," Marebole noted.

Peter Mukunga, Acting Managing Director at Kingdom Bank Africa Limited commented "We are delighted to partner with Prepaid Financial Services and MasterCard in bringing the MADI Express Prepaid Card product to Botswana. It is clearly evident that with the increasing convergence of telecommunications technology and financial services, banking is no longer a preserve of the affluent. It has always been our objective to demystify banking, promote financial deepening and improving access to financial services across Sub-Saharan Africa and we believe the issuing of prepaid cards is one such cheap and convenient way of achieving this".

Businesses can also stand to benefit from the introduction of the prepaid card, as the payment solution can be used for making payments to full time employees or to non-salaried workers, who hold informal employment and do not have banking accounts. Prepaid cards can also serve as an excellent replacement for existing corporate Travel Card programmes and entertainment expense schemes, which are cumbersome to monitor and are particularly vulnerable to fraud.  Government will also be able to securely distribute funds to social grant beneficiaries.

"The launch heralds an exciting time for the people of Botswana as the MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card is specifically designed for their needs. The introduction of this innovation in the payments industry is aimed at assisting the government to position itself as a global economic power-house, one that is less dependent on cash," concluded Moran.

The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card is available to users online at http://www.madiexpress.co.bw . Alternatively customers can visit our customer service centres located at Postnet Railpark Mall (Tel: +267-310-2564) by the Gaborone bus rank or Postnet Molapo cross (Tel: +267-371-0020), Gaborone.

Notes to Editors

The MADI Express Prepaid MasterCard card

About Prepaid Financial Services:

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) Ltd. is a leading prepaid program manager operating out of the UK, has live programmes in 10 currencies, and is recognised as a specialist supplier to the prepaid industry globally.  PFS are FSA regulated and manage programs processing millions of transactions every week. Our products are utilised by governments, blue chip corporations, SME's and individual consumers utilising our cutting edge, secure technology.

For more information, go to http://www.prepaidfinancialservices.com or call +44-(0)20-7125-0321.

About Prepaid Debit Card Services:

Prepaid Debit Card Services (PDS) Ltd. prides itself as an innovative prepaid cards services provider targeting underbanked and unbanked individuals with lower or erratic income levels through our flagship MADI Express MasterCard prepaid card. For more information, go to http://www.madiexpress.co.bw or call (+267)-310-2561.

About Kingdom Bank Africa Limited:

Kingdom Bank Africa Limited is a leading offshore banking institution operating under the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Botswana and licensed by Bank of Botswana to provide off-shore banking, savings and investments services, as well as trade finance advisory and corporate finance/advisory. Main clients include high net worth individuals, companies involved in cross-border activities and Non-Governmental Organisations. For more information, go to http://www.kingdombotswana.com.

About MasterCard:

MasterCard(NYSE: MA), http://www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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