The Sun launches prepaid card

LONDON - The Sun has joined up with Tuxedo Money Solutions to offer its readers a prepaid MasterCard in a move that it hopes will increase reader loyalty and rival The Mirror's prepaid offering.

Users will be able to load money onto the Sun Tuxedo from a number of pay-in locations, using a concept similar to pay-as-you-go mobile phone top-ups. 
The newspaper claims that the card, which comes with a chip and pin, also allows those unable to open a bank account, or who wish to hold their funds separately, to benefit from all the functions of a plastic card.
Sun readers applying for the Sun Tuxedo card will receive a welcome letter, a pay-in book, a user guide and the card itself, all priced at £6.49. However they will receive £5 cash-back on the first load, making the effective price £1.49.
Richard Davis, The Sun’s relationship marketing manager for Sun Money, admitted to launching the card in a bid to take on The Mirror’s prepaid Maestro card, The Quidity, which launched last October.
“We’re launching in direct competition to the Mirror and offering our readers a much better deal. We’re hoping that the Sun Tuxedo will create a greater loyalty with The Sun brand,” he said.
While the prepaid market is relatively new in the UK, Virgin and Tesco have already launched cards, and forecasts indicate that prepaid card usage will increase 110% in Europe over the next five years.
The two companies are sharing the costs of the offer and all advertising relating to the product will be co-branded. According to Tuxedo CEO Mark Simon, the deal with the Sun is worth £1m in adverting over the year.
“We chose The Sun because they are unrivalled in ability to speak to the British customer. It’s the country’s largest newspaper which places them in a privileged position to demystify the prepaid offering,” he said.
Tuxedo, which was founded last year by a group of pay-as-you-go telecom entrepreneurs, is planning on spending £5 million over two years advertising its prepaid solution through its brand agency Gyro International, which is looking after all its media planning and marketing efforts.