LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 03/29/11 -- Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

Lebara, the UK leader in providing high quality, low-cost international mobile call services, today announced the launch of a new sub-brand Lebara Money.

Lebara Money will provide its customers with a range of financial services and products designed specifically to support the needs of the UK's growing migrant communities. The first product, the Lebara Prepaid MasterCard, started its roll-out across the country on March 21.

The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard®, developed in conjunction with MasterCard and Newcastle Building Society, will offer customers a speedy and extremely competitive international and domestic money sharing service(i) through the most trusted brands in the global remittance industry. MasterCard is the leader in the global payments industry, processing more than 23 billion payments a year.

Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO of Lebara said of the move: "Lebara made making calls home easy, efficient and affordable. We want to offer customers the same high level of service and peace of mind when they send their hard earned money home. Working with NBS and MasterCard will ensure that this is exactly what they get at all times."

The global remittance industry is one of the few sectors that has defied the current recession and is estimated to be worth GBP 500 billion globally. The UK is one of the top 10 remittance-originating countries worldwide, with approximately GBP 2.4 billion recorded outward remittances annually from the UK to the developing world.(ii)

The new Lebara Prepaid MasterCard will be targeted at key payment destination countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, the Philippines, China and eastern Europe.(i)

The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard will offer customers a two-card facility allowing the sender and receiver greater control and security, money loading, card-to-card sending and withdrawals. The money is simply loaded onto the UK based card and then moved to the beneficiary's pre-paid debit card so they can use the money instantly by just swiping at the vendor's point of sale or getting cash from any ATM displaying the MasterCard Acceptance Mark.

The entry point for customers is a simple GBP 14.90 to purchase the two linked cards, with transparent fees and charges. The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard also allows customers that have no direct access to a bank account in the UK to take advantage of the service through direct payment and cash loading at over 30,000 Paypoints and Post Office branches across the country.

Yoganathan ends: "For Lebara, communication is not just about connecting people on the phone. Our customers connect with their family and friends in their home country in many ways, and sending money home to their families is one of the most important reasons for them being in the UK. Introducing financial services was the natural next step in our commitment to provide them with a complete communications solution."

(i)Local laws in India mean that you may not send secondary cards to India for the purposes of money transfer

(ii)Source: World Bank

Notes to Editors:


Lebara's vision is to be the leader in providing low-cost, high quality international mobile services. Lebara Mobile was founded in 2001 as part of the Lebara Group. Lebara was ranked as the UK's fourth fastest-growing private company in the Sunday Times 'Fast Track 100 listing' in 2006, was voted Best Newcomer at the Mobile Industry Awards in 2008, was recognised as delivering the Most Innovative Service at the 2009 Mobile News Awards, and in 2010 won the award for best MVNO at the Mobile News Awards.

In March 2011 the company continued to gain recognition for its achievements, winning the award for Best MVNO for the second year, as well as the award for Best Customer Service at this year's Mobile News Awards.


MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. The Lebara Prepaid MasterCard® is issued by Newcastle Building Society ("NBS") pursuant to licence by MasterCard International. NBS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority as an issuer of e-money (registration no. 156058).-- The Prepaid Card is an electronic money product and although it is a product regulated by the Financial Services Authority, it is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. No other compensation scheme exists to cover losses claimed in connection with the Prepaid Card. This means that in the event that Newcastle Building Society becomes insolvent your funds may become valueless and unusable and as a result you may lose your money.

Newcastle Building Society:

Newcastle Building Society's Card Solutions Division Card Solutions offers BIN sponsorship, card issuance, settlement services and complete regulatory compliance.-- It is currently ranked as the largest provider in UK and Europe by MasterCard® on monies settled, and seventh globally on MasterCard® prepaid network, with over 300 live schemes.-- It has over 1.25 million of its issued cards active month on month, carrying out over 1,700,000 transactions.-- The Society is a MasterCard® Principal Member, with the most MasterCard® approved prepaid programmes in the UK.-- Card Solutions holds a SEPA licence and have live programmes in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Hungary.

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