Garanti Bank, a private bank based in Turkey, and Turkcell, a Turkish mobile phone operator, have teamed up with MasterCard to launch a prepaid card called Cep-T Paracard (meaning: money card on your mobile ) to tap into the country’s significant unbanked population. Cep-T Paracard combines mobile and banking services enabling Turkcell customers to benefit from financial services offered by Garanti Bank without having to be a customer of the bank.
Cep-T Paracard is a SIM-based secure service that can be used with any mobile handset device. It will be offered to Turkcell’s customers at Turkcell’s 1,200 communication centres (TIMs). To use, customers simply pre-load money to the card via Garanti point-of-sale (POS) machines at TIMs, or at any Garanti Bank ATM. Customers can then use the pre-loaded card to shop at any store that accepts MasterCard, collect bonus points, load minutes onto their mobile phone using the preset menu on their phones and even transfer money. Customers can also earn free minutes and redeem purchases against bonus points collected.
Garanti Payment Systems chief executive officer (CEO), Mehmet Sezgin, said: “We are entering a new era of mobile financial services with the launch of the Cep-T Paracard. This new product integrates the mobile world with the banking one to provide many benefits for mobile phone users. Currently, two thirds of the population in Turkey does not use banking services, either due to their age or income. With the launch of this new prepaid card service, we aim to gain a further 1.5 million additional unbanked customers through Cep-T Paracard within the next three years, with the end goal of a total cashless society by 2023.”
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