Consumer Payment Card News

Prepaid Internet Access Cards

Auric Web Systems launched Friday prepaid Internet access cards, much like prepaid phone cards.

Auric Web Systems Inc. announced the availability of a revolutionary dial-up access solution that is low-cost, easy to use and offers many advantages over the traditional Internet service provider (ISP) account.

Internet access cards are very similar in concept to phone cards, except they provide Internet instead of voice communications. Just like a prepaid phone card, there are no set-up fees or monthly charges, and users do not need an ISP account. In addition, users do not have to provide any personal information or use a credit card.

The cards have a toll-free number, ID and password printed on the back of the card and work with any standard Internet browser. “These cards will transform the way in which people access the Internet and allow more flexible access options. This will do for the Internet what phone cards have done for telecommunications,” said Roger Schulz, marketing manager for Auric Web Systems.

While these cards are useful to anyone who wants Internet access, they are particularly useful for travelers and businesses. Many companies that provide Internet access to their employees do so over a dedicated line connected to the company network and thus need an additional way to connect to the Internet when not in the office.

Users can access the Internet from almost anywhere with a single phone number. This is much easier than Internet roaming, where a user looks up an ISP’s local access number, if there is one, and then changes the number each time the traveler moves to a new location.

“Internet access cards also provide an exceptional new marketing and promotional tool, as well as an excellent product line addition for telecos, ISPs and anyone else who offers phone cards or Internet access,” explained Schulz. For promotional cards, the sponsoring company’s advertisement and Web site link are displayed when users check the time remaining on their card.

The service was successfully launched last year in Japan and has been fully operational since July 1996. Internet access cards are now available for sale and use throughout the United States.

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