Consumer Payment Card News

Shout! Card

MCI introduced a customized prepaid card Thursday geared toward families, especially children. The ‘MCI PrePaid Shout! Calling Card’ offers two key features: speed-dial and an anti-theft system. MCI ‘Speed Dial Express’, a key feature of the new prepaid phone card, allows parents or caregivers to pre-program up to six frequently called numbers that are easily retrieved and dialed with the push of a single speed dial button. The prepaid card itself includes six lines on the card’s front panel allowing adults to write the programmed calling destinations. The printed card holder, with an enclosed key ring that can be attached to backpacks, sports bags or purses, is included with each Shout! purchase. Once programmed, calling is limited to those six numbers, eliminating the potential for theft, fraud or misuse. The MCI ‘Speed Dial Express’ numbers can be changed or deleted anytime by using a passcode, without deducting calling time from the card. The MCI ‘PrePaid Shout! Card’ is available at Wal-Mart, or by calling a toll-free number or via MCI’s Web site.

FULL STORY:
MCI introduced a customized prepaid communications tool yesterday to help busy families connect — the MCI PrePaid Shout! Calling Card. Speed-dial and anti-theft features, combined with kid-cool designs, make the new MCI PrePaid Shout! Cards fun, practical and convenient for children and teens to stay connected with parents or guardians.

“We designed the MCI PrePaid Shout! Card with families in mind,” according to Charles Wiggs, executive director for MCI PrePaid Markets. “In today’s busy world, many people are challenged with a balancing act between work and family. By making it easier for children to get in touch with their families and caregivers, the Shout! Card is a stress management tool for the 90’s — and it’s fun for kids.”

With the MCI PrePaid Shout! Calling Card, parents will no longer have to worry about whether their children have change to phone home. Shout! Cards also alleviate the need for children to use other expensive calling methods and the burden of remembering several contact numbers, including confusing telephone, cellular, and pager numbers.

MCI Speed Dial Express, a key feature of the MCI PrePaid Shout! Card, allows parents or caregivers to pre-program up to six frequently called numbers that are easily retrieved and dialed with the push of a single speed dial button. With MCI Speed Dial Express, children can quickly reach parents without having to remember multiple 10-digit phone numbers — whether it’s mom’s office, grandmother’s house, dad’s cell phone or a guardian’s pager number. Once programmed, calling is limited to those six numbers, eliminating the potential for theft, fraud or misuse. The MCI Speed Dial Express numbers can be changed or deleted anytime by using a passcode, without deducting calling time from the card. This feature also allows for easy access to customer service.

COOL IMAGES APPEAL TO KIDS

The MCI PrePaid Shout! Cards are available in four stylish keytag card holder images for children and teens. Two cards feature sports-related images with traditional team-sport motifs for younger children, and more extreme sports action motifs for teens. Two additional images feature a colorful “Free to Be Me” retro design for younger age groups and a 60’s style “Flower Power” embroidered patch design for teens. Children can safely keep the prepaid cards in the holder’s hidden compartment.

The prepaid card itself includes six lines on the card’s front panel allowing adults to write the programmed calling destinations. The printed card holder, with an enclosed key ring that can be attached to backpacks, sports bags or purses, is included with each Shout! purchase.

The MCI PrePaid Shout! Card is available at Wal-Mart, or by calling the toll-free Shout! card line at 1-800-830-9444. Shout! Cards are also available for purchase on the web at http://www.mci.com/aboutus/products/prepaid/index.shtml.

MCI PREPAID SHOUT! CALLING CARD FEATURES

The MCI PrePaid Shout! Card is available in 15 domestic minute increments giving parents or guardians the option to cost effectively recharge the cards anytime. Additional card features, designed to simplify the calling process for families, include:

* Simplified menu routing – user-friendly menu routing system simplifies access to speed dial, customer service, and the parents’ menu.

* Pass code protection – Controls calling destinations; passcode required to program and update speed dial numbers. Prohibits theft and misuse.

* Controlled dialing access – Calls are limited to six programmed numbers; parents or guardians can control the numbers being called.

* Trained customer service representatives – all non-completed calls are automatically routed to customer service representatives, available 24 hours, seven days a week. When a Shout! PrePaid Calling Card has reached a zero-unit balance, it will be routed automatically to customer service instead of being disconnected.

* Notification of expiration – A verbal announcement will be heard by the user when the card is near expiration. Each card expires 15 months from the date of first use.

MCI PREPAID CARDS

MCI PrePaid Calling Cards can be purchased in more than 35,000 retail locations nationwide, including grocery, gift, travel and convenience store locations as well as many affiliated and independent retailers. Card users can call from any phone — public or private, touch tone or rotary — in the U.S. to virtually anywhere in the world.

MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading provider of local-to- global communication services to business, government and residential users. The company’s fast-growing portfolio of advanced data and IT services accounts for a quarter of MCI’s approximately $20 billion in annual revenue. MCI operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced digital networks, connecting local markets in the U.S. to hundreds of locations worldwide. MCI has agreed to merge with WorldCom, one of the world’s fastest-growing communications companies. The merger, which is expected to be completed in mid-1998, will create MCI WorldCom, a company uniquely positioned in the U.S. local and long distance markets as well as the global data and Internet markets.

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