VoiceCash Services GmbH & Co. and Germany-based telecommunication provider Mobilcom-Debitel have partnered to launch an initiative to enable German consumers to transfer funds directly to between prepaid card accounts, VoiceCash announced on Dec. 23.

A representative from Germany-based VoiceCash was unable to comment by PaymentsSource deadline.

VoiceCash initially launched the card program in August in the United Kingdom.

The Mobilcash prepaid MasterCard twin card program is available for Mobilcom-Debitel customers but eventually will be open to all German consumers wanting to transfer funds internationally, VoiceCash noted in a news release. 

Mobilcom-Debitel will market and distribute the cards.

Participating consumers receive two cards: a primary card they keep for themselves and a secondary card they may give to someone else. Only the primary cardholder may transfer funds between card accounts, but each cardholder may use the prepaid card to shop wherever MasterCard is accepted or to withdraw cash at any Cirrus ATM, according to VoiceCash. VoiceCash did not say in the release whether any fees are associated with the cards. Its website also does not provide any fee information.

Primary cardholders may load funds into each card account through a standard bank funds transfer, a dedicated website or at any VoiceCash loading point kiosk. They also may immediately transfer funds from the card account to the secondary card account via text message, by phone through an interactive voice response system, or at a dedicated website, VoiceCash says.

The ability to transfer funds between prepaid card accounts is not new, notes Gwenn Bézard, co-founder and research director at Boston-based Aite Group LLC. These companies appear to be trying to revive the concept in an untapped market, as the “prepaid (card) industry is not really developed in Europe,” he tells PaymentsSource.

VoiceCash most likely is targeting immigrant workers in Germany who are supporting families in other countries and may not yet have German bank accounts, Bézard contends.

This specific group of consumers could benefit because not only can they transfer or receive funds immediately, but they also may use the card at the point of sale, he says.

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