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Accor Services and MasterCard Europe Create a Leading Joint Venture in the European Prepaid Market


France, Belgium.- Accor Services and MasterCard Europe today announced a strategic alliance resulting in the creation of a new company, PrePay Solutions. The joint venture makes Accor Services the majority shareholder at 67 percent, while MasterCard Europe holds a 33 percent stake in the company.1

The new company is designed to combine the prepaid and electronic payments expertise of both organisations for business players looking to benefit from the fast growing €130 billion European prepaid opportunity2.

PrePay Solutions markets prepaid card-based solutions that enable corporations, public sector and financial corporations to reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Both organizations and consumers benefit from the ease, security and convenience of card-based solutions in areas such as rewards and loyalty, gifting, expense management, and card payment for under banked people.

By offering turn-key programmes, PrePay Solutions provides customers the scale and resources to deliver a seamless prepaid solution including marketing support, transactions handling and customer support services. The flexibility of the MasterCard Worldwide Network to support prepaid solutions provides scalability options and speed to market in Europe.

The creation of PrePay Solutions is underpinned by Accor Services’ subsidiary PrePay Technologies – a UK market leader in prepaid cards – and acquired in 2007 by Accor Services. PrePay Technologies’ nine-year strong marketing and operating experience has already helped to bring more than 20 million cards covering a broad range of prepaid solutions to the UK, and also includes a licence to issue e-money in 17 European countries.

PrePay Solutions will provide services to Accor Services and MasterCard, enabling each firm to develop solutions for its respective clients: corporate and government clients for Accor Services, banks and other financial institutions for MasterCard. At the same time, PrePay Solutions will market prepaid solutions direct to its own customers such as retailers.

The newly created PrePay Solutions builds on this experience and will also draw on the combined expertise of Accor Services and MasterCard:

* Over the past 45 years, Accor Services has built excellent merchant and corporate relationships to become a world leader in prepaid services. With 430,000 private and public sector customers, Accor Services provides PrePay Solutions with international expertise in designing and developing high value-added services that can be used in an acceptance network comprising more than one million merchants around the world.
* MasterCard’s state-of-the-art payment processing network and extensive prepaid expertise bring to the venture a fast-track, creative and seamless prepaid solution. MasterCard also gives PrePay Solutions access to a network of 28.5 million acceptance locations worldwide and a secure transaction system. PrePay Solutions also benefits from MasterCard’s recognized expertise in managing financial transactions and its technological capabilities in designing payment programmes, such as contactless, as well as mobile phone based solutions.

The PrePay Solutions Board of Directors is comprised of seven members: in addition to the Non-Executive Chairman and the Managing Director; Accor Services has three representatives on the board and MasterCard two members.

“Today’s announcement represents an important new step for our Services business,” said Gilles C. Pélisson, Director and Chief Executive of Accor. “This unique agreement with MasterCard – one of the most widely known payment brands – will allow us to deliver value for our European customers.”

Robert W. Selander, President and Chief Executive Officer of MasterCard Worldwide said, “We are pleased to announce this new alliance. This joint venture with Accor, a worldwide leader in the hospitality and services sector, enables us to provide our European customers seamless and fast-to-market solutions that give them the ability to tap into the burgeoning prepaid market opportunity. This will continue to facilitate the displacement of cash and paper instruments for commercial entities while providing a safe, convenient and innovative alternative for consumers.”

“This partnership is aligned with Accor Services’ strategic commitment to driving organic growth of 10 to 18% a year after 2010, versus 8 to 16% today. The strategic agreement positions Accor Services as a major player in the value-added prepaid market” said Serge Ragozin, Chief Executive of Accor Services.

“Prepaid is the fastest growing sector in the payments industry,” concluded Javier Perez, President of MasterCard Europe. “Customer financial institutions and merchant partners across Europe are looking for turnkey prepaid solutions, particularly those focusing primarily on the private label prepaid segment as well as innovative offerings to deliver the value that their customers have come to expect. We believe the creation of PrePay Solutions, in conjunction with Accor Services, provides a compelling solution for our customers.”


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