More to the Story
  February's cover story, "Those Proliferating Prepaid Cards," presented an insightful description of advanced MasterCard stored-value card applications for health-care and payroll disbursements. However, MasterCard has an equally innovative array of prepaid gift card offerings which were noticeably absent from the article.
  Since 1996, MasterCard has rolled out a series of unique prepaid gift card programs ideally suited to the needs of 21st-century shoppers. The prepaid MasterCard gift card is accepted at more than 29 million locations worldwide, and has quickly become an ideal alternative for gift givers seeking options beyond the staid gift certificate and ever-cumbersome personal check or cash gift. Furthermore, secure and immediate access to personal funds at ATMs around the world has proven very valuable for our cardholders.
  The MasterCard gift card program meets the consumer's essential payment needs-simplicity in use, convenient portability, worldwide acceptance, and security from fraud, loss or theft. Prepaid MasterCard gift card solutions are now offered for purchase via the Internet, by phone and at participating MasterCard member bank branches.
  Recent MasterCard gift card program launches include Charter One's FlexCash MasterCard, KeyBank's Key Possibilities MasterCard, and Bank One's Ecount prepaid MasterCard. Each program has helped our member institutions to not only translate the gift-certificate category into gift card solutions, but also further demonstrates our member banks' unparalleled commitment to equip their customers with today's most advanced payment options.
  Our advanced planning and strategic foresight will continue to enable MasterCard members to capitalize on the full assortment of emerging prepaid payment card opportunities-gift, health care, insurance, compensation, transportation, and beyond.
  Bill Mathis
  Senior Vice President
  MasterCard International, Member Relations
  Purchase, N.Y.

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