Emirates NBD Group has launched two magnetic stripe prepaid cards designed for different segments in the United Arab Emirates market.

The bank is working with the Dubai Financial Market for the launch of the Ivestor card, an official from the bank tells PaymentsSource. Companies may use accounts accessed with the Visa-branded card to distribute their dividends starting with fiscal 2009, according to the official.

Dubai Financial Market companies historically have sent their 30,000-odd investors dividend checks by post, he says. Now they may load the dividends into the card accounts, and investors can access the funds as they would if using a credit, debit or ATM card. Card fees were not disclosed.

The bank also has launched the Emirates NBD MasterCard prepaid card, which low-income workers, such as construction laborers, may use to secure payroll deposits. “In addition, the card can also be used as a gift card or as an alternative to cash for these laborers when they go home,” the official says.

The issuer charges no fees to secure the card, and deposits are free. Payments made with the card also are free, and Emirates NBD charges for ATM withdrawals only when cardholders use other banks’ machines. That fee was not disclosed.

Cardholders must make an initial deposit of at least 500 dirhams (US$136 or 101 euros); the minimum reload is 200 dirhams, he says.

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