Altair and Blueberry Launch a Prepaid Card to Save Mothers Money

16 May 2008, London (www.AllPayNews.com) – Altair Financial Services International Plc (Altair), a leading prepaid card and global transaction processing solutions provider, and Blueberry Card Services Ltd, provider of innovative consumer prepaid services, have announced the launch of the BaBee Prepaid MasterCard® card. The BaBeeCard will be the first UK pay-as-you-go MasterCard® card created specifically to help new mothers manage their finances and save money on their day-to-day expenses.

Gemma Johnson, Blueberry CEO commented, “A BaBeeCard costs just £14.95 a year yet gives mums access to hundreds of discounts, from baby-related items to everyday essentials like groceries and petrol plus big ticket items like holidays. Just using the grocery and petrol vouchers alone could cover the cost of the card within a month.”

Lee Britton, CEO of Altair said, “This is a great example of a prepaid card programme designed to meet the needs of a specific audience. We expect a great deal of interest surrounding the BaBeeCard program and believe it will be very successful. The BaBeeCard enables the cardholder to better budget their finances, saves the cardholder money on a range of relevant discounts and can furthermore earn money by referring their friends.

“The BaBeeCard program uses Altair Mobile Payment System (AMPS), so the prepaid cards can be conveniently managed by sending text messages from a registered mobile phone. Cardholders can obtain their balance, top up their card or lock/unlock their card for added security, from anywhere, 24 hours a day. In addition, the card enables friends and family to add funds to the card from any location in the UK, via online bank transfer or SMS if using a BaBee Top-Up Card.”

The UK annual birth-rate is approximately 750k, which presents a huge potential market for the BaBeeCard. With the current financial climate, a growing number of mums may find it difficult to obtain credit. Unlike a credit card, BaBeeCard applicants will not require credit checks and the cardholder can only spend what has been loaded onto the card. It has the convenience of being accepted everywhere displaying the MasterCard acceptance mark, currently 25.9 million locations worldwide.

Chris Reddish, Global Product Head of Prepaid Europe, MasterCard, said: “The BaBeeCard MasterCard is another great example of how prepaid programmes can be tailored to offer different benefits for different groups of consumers. The facility to manage spend by ring-fencing budget, combined with the security and convenience of prepaid cards, offer mums valuable peace of mind.”

Notes for editors

About Altair Financial Services International Plc (www.altair-financial.com)
Altair Financial Services International Plc was incorporated in 2005 as a global provider of Prepaid Card solutions with enhanced functionality. Altair acquired established transaction processing company, Symmetrex, Inc. in March 2007. Altair is headquartered in London with banking and processing relationships in UK, USA, Asia Pacific and throughout the Latin America and Caribbean regions and issues on behalf of MasterCard® and Visa.

Altair solutions are designed to be flexible enough to provide companies with almost any type of prepaid card functionality, including open and closed loop programs. Through its relationship with MasterCard® all Altair cards issued in Europe are based on Chip & PIN technology and are EMV standards compliant. Altair is a certified issuer and transaction processor of contactless (MasterCard® PayPass™) prepaid cards in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.altair-financial.com.

About Blueberry Card Services Ltd
Blueberry Card Services Ltd was set up by Gemma Johnson in September 2006. Gemma and her team have more than 4 years experience in the prepaid card market and 10 years in the charge card industry. The company developed the BaBeeCard and the supporting programmes and will be introducing additional prepaid services in the future.

For every BaBeeCard sold, the company will donate £1 to BLISS, a UK registered charity dedicated to working for special care babies and their families. A survey conducted by BLISS late last year found that having a premature or sick baby can put families under crippling financial strain, with an average extra weekly spend of £189, and potential long-term implications for a family's finances.

About Newcastle Building Society
Newcastle Building Society is the biggest building society based in the North East and one of the strongest mutual building societies in the country. With assets under administration of over £4.8bn they are certainly large enough to compete but small enough to care deeply about the needs of their members. They are committed to providing a range of innovative and attractive products.

About BLISS (www.bliss.org.uk)
BLISS provides a range of support services to parents and families of premature and sick babies, including the leaflet "Financial help for families", which aims to help parents regain control of their finances.

For further information, please contact:
Steven Phillips on +44(0) 20 7659 1178 or email steven.phillips@altair-financial.com