Consumer Payment Card News

Prepaid Gas+Phone Card

Mobil and MCI announced yesterday it will begin testing, this Friday, a new co- branded card which combines the prepaid ‘Mobil GO Card’ with MCI’s ‘PrePaid’ long distance calling card. The new ‘Mobil-MCI GO Card’ will be sold in $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations and is rechargeable via a toll-free phone number. MCI will charge 25 cents per minute for the calling card feature. Cardholders may use the card for gasoline purchases, services and merchandise at Mobil service stations in addition to make pre-paid long distance calls. The pilot will be conducted in the greater St. Louis area. Mobil and MCI partnered in the summer of 1996 to offer Mobil/MCI branded calling cards.

Mobil Corp. and MCI today announced they will jointly test market in St. Louis a prepaid transaction card for multiple company products by co-branding the Mobil GO Card and MCI’s PrePaid long distance calling card.

The first-of-its-kind combination of prepaid gasoline and phone cards expands the options for consumers to use just one prepaid transaction card to purchase gasoline, services and merchandise at Mobil service stations, and long distance telephone services from MCI from any phone in the country. The test will begin Oct. 10.

The test will be conducted through Mobil service stations operated by Wallace Oil, Mobil’s gasoline distributor in the St. Louis area.

The “Mobil/MCI GO Card” will be sold in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100. The card is “rechargeable” by calling a toll-free number — 1/800/730-8646.

Customers may use the Mobil-MCI GO Card in Mobil’s customer- activated gasoline pumps or present it to the station attendant for payment of purchases. Cardholders can use the MCI feature to make prepaid domestic long distance telephone calls at predetermined rates of 25 cents per minute. Calls can be made from any phone — public or private, touch tone or rotary.

Each time a GO Card is used for calling, the cardholder will hear the balance-of-call minutes remaining before entering a telephone number. After a call is completed the appropriate number of units is automatically subtracted from the previous balance.

“Our customers continue to ask for payment options,” said Len Eason, manager of Mobil’s Card Business. “We have further enhanced the prepaid convenience of the Mobil GO Card with a premier long distance telecommunications partner — MCI.”

“The concept of prepaid cards originally started with long distance calling several years ago, but with the introduction of the GO Card, Mobil is taking the stored value concept into a much broader consumer market,” said Jeff Lindauer, general manager, MCI PrePaid. “We expect that the test market results will be a springboard to expand the program nationally, as well as add more capabilities, value and convenience for customers.”

MCI and Mobil have jointly offered several prepaid calling products over the past year. In July 1996, the companies introduced the MCI/Mobil Prepaid card which is sold in more than 2,000 Mobil-branded stations. The stations have also offered various specialty lines from MCI PrePaid.

Like other prepaid or declining-balance formats, such as subway fare cards and tollway passes, the Mobil GO Card has been popular with travelers who do not wish to carry extra cash or credit cards.

“GO Cards have also been a hit with parents who want to help budget their teenagers’ expenses for items like gasoline,” said Mobil’s Eason. “GO Cards have also proven popular as Christmas and birthday gifts, employee incentives, and as a promotional item with all types of businesses.”

Mobil/MCI GO Cards can be purchased at all participating Mobil service stations in the St. Louis area.

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