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'Angry Birds' Target the Prepaid Card Market

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The popular mobile-phone game Angry Birds is once again helping a new payments product take flight, with the introduction of a prepaid card with designs based on the game's theme.

The card, from Kaiku Finance LLC, will be made available next year. The game's designer, Rovio Mobile Ltd., two years ago introduced a separate payment system of its own design to allow customers to make in-game purchases that would be added to their phone bill. That system, which is unrelated to the prepaid card, is called Bad Piggy Bank, named after the game's villains.

Kaiku, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., plans to sell the upcoming Visa-branded card only on its website. The Angry Birds card will allow free ATM withdrawals from machines on the Allpoint network. Kaiku's website does not yet provide a fee breakdown for the Angry Birds card, though the card's features closely resemble those of Kaiku's current Visa prepaid card, which charges a $1.95 monthly fee, a $2.45 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals and a $0.95 fee for person-to-person transfers to other Kaiku prepaid accounts.

The Angry Birds card will also have a mobile app on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry phones. The app allows balance inquiries, transfers and other account-management features.

“Angry Birds is one of the most popular global games today and therefore epitomizes widespread appeal,” said Jon Round, Kaiku Finance's CEO, in a press release Nov. 5. “This makes Rovio an ideal partner to help us make prepaid a smart and affordable financial option in today’s increasingly cashless and mobile society.”

The Angry Bird card will come in four designs: “Attack,” which features three of the game's birds demolishing a structure built by the game's villainous pigs; “Space Red,” featuring the red bird's goggles from the Angry Birds Space game; “Boom,” featuring the explosive black bird; and “Piggies,” depiciting an army of green pigs.

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