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Altair Delivers Manchester City FC Seasoncard with PayPass

The Manchester City FC MasterCard® Prepaid Seasoncard with PayPass™

The Manchester City FC MasterCard® Prepaid Seasoncard with PayPass™

Altair Financial Services International Plc (Altair) have helped deliver the first stadium contactless prepaid card in Europe, the Manchester City FC MasterCard® Prepaid Seasoncard with PayPass™, with MBNA and MasterCard. The card will replace the standard season ticket currently issued to supporters.

“We are delighted to have delivered such an innovative and remarkable payment card program, which is among the most technically advanced in the world today,” says Lee Britton, Altair CEO. “The cards make use of EMV functionality, which has never been implemented on a prepaid card program before, enabling the cards to manage their own authorisation activity when used at contactless terminals.”

The Manchester City FC MasterCard Prepaid Seasoncard, currently on trial with 3,500 season ticket holders, combines for the first time three applications in a single piece of plastic. The card stores membership data and is capable of interfacing contactlessly to the Manchester City Stadium turnstiles to allow entry to home matches, it also supports standard Chip and PIN payments and contactless payments with MasterCard PayPass.

“Essentially, a cardholder could use their card to enter the stadium and pay for their halftime meal and drinks by simply tapping their card with contactless enabled merchants. In addition, cardholders can use their card outside of the stadium to make purchases with their card at both chip and PIN and contactless point of sale devices. Furthermore, cardholders can load their card with additional funds either online at, over the phone on 0870 062 1894, or via a Payzone point at retailers,” Says Britton.

Brendan Jones, Product Executive at MBNA, said: “The Manchester City FC MasterCard Prepaid Seasoncard with Paypass is a great innovation in stadium technology. We believe this concept will work both inside and outside of stadia, and will revolutionise the way people use cash.”

Chris Reddish, Global Product Head of Prepaid Europe, MasterCard, said, "The power of the Seasoncard is that it combines the openness and availability of prepaid with the speed and execution of a PayPass transaction.”

The contactless card concept has been proven by millions of passengers globally that use RFID enabled cards for public transit daily. The Manchester City FC MasterCard Prepaid Seasoncard is the first of the next generation entry control cards that offer speed and convenience both on entry and on purchases once inside the stadium. Altair believes stadia, sports and music events are next in line to take advantage of the benefits of implementing similar prepaid contactless card programs.

Products like this have huge benefits to stadium owners, as they not only combine membership management, access control and an open loop payment product into a single easily manageable piece of plastic, but also have huge benefits to stadium owners with their potential to remove cash from the stadium environment which can be a major time and money overhead.

The card supports EMV scripting which allows Altair to dynamically update data held on board the card when it is used in a Chip and PIN reader. This is a powerful tool which allows management of individual cards, in support of fraud control, offline balance management, card blocking and so forth.

Richard Pinnick, Head of Global Strategic Projects at Fortress GB, the company responsible for the provision of the application that controls membership and access to the stadium commented, “The coexistence of multiple applications, managed by different organisations, on a single MasterCard represents a quantum step forward in thinking for the card industry, simply driven by the needs of the fan. It opens the way to new and innovative card programmes that deliver a multiplicity of functions and services that best fit the lifestyle and environment of the consumer”

Altair Financial Services International Plc
3rd Floor, 37 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7659 1140
Fax: +44 (0)20 7900 2511

About Altair Financial Services International Plc
Altair Financial Services International Plc was incorporated in 2005 as a global provider of Prepaid Card solutions with enhanced functionality. Altair acquired established transaction processing company, Symmetrex, Inc. in March 2007. Altair is headquartered in London with banking and processing relationships in UK, USA, Asia Pacific and throughout the Latin America and Caribbean regions and issues on behalf of MasterCard® and Visa.

Altair solutions are designed to be flexible enough to provide companies with almost any type of prepaid card functionality, including open and closed loop programs. Through its relationship with MasterCard® all Altair cards issued in Europe are based on Chip & PIN technology and are EMV standards compliant. Altair is a certified issuer and transaction processor of contactless (MasterCard® PayPass™) prepaid cards in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

About MBNA Europe Bank:
MBNA Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), is the recognized leader in affinity marketing. MBNA credit cards and related products and services are endorsed by more than 5,000 organisations worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at or Bank of America’s site at

About MasterCard PayPass and Maestro PayPass:
PayPass is MasterCard’s ‘contactless’ payment feature, which provides consumers with a fast and convenient alternative to cash for their everyday small purchases, such as public transport tickets, coffee, sandwiches or fast food, petrol and others. It can be added to any MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card, or to a Maestro debit card. PayPass allows merchants to function more efficiently and serve their customers better. PayPass speeds consumers through the check-out process, reduces cash handling, improves efficiency and provides competitive differentiation.

As of Q4 2007, there are over 23 million PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 95,000 diverse merchant locations globally, including Major League Baseball and National Football League sports stadiums in the US; fast food outlets McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks; convenience stores 7-Eleven, CVS and Duane Reed; Coca-Cola Enterprises’ vending machines and New York City subway and taxis. PayPass is currently being trialled or rolled out in 24 countries, including France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. For more information about MasterCard PayPass and Maestro PayPass, visit

About MasterCard Europe
MasterCard Europe is the entity responsible for managing MasterCard Worldwide’s business in Europe, for Europe. With headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, MasterCard Europe works with 51 European countries organized administratively into three customer areas, incorporating the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), mature markets and the developing markets of Europe, stretching as far afield as the eastern border of Russia. Through its network of local offices, MasterCard Europe can understand and meet the diverse needs of customers in the very different types of markets throughout Europe, enabling people to do business in their own way in their own language.

Through MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Europe offers its European customers and consumers access to leading payment services throughout the world. MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, go to

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