Prepaid phone cards sold at retail come in paper, plastic, recyclable, custom-shaped, 3D, hologram and motion types.
re credit-card styling on thick plastic that makes customers feel they are purchasing something of value," said Simon Bradwell, director of sales of enhanced services at LCI International Worldwide Telecommunications, San Antonio. However, Sprint, Kansas City, Mo., has moved away from plastic to another material in the production of its Foncard as it aims to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
"We now use a paper-laminate process, which we believe results in a superior-quality card as opposed to the 100% plastic process," said Marlene Waltz, Sprint's director of prepaid cards.
While most phone cards are designed to resemble credit cards, Catalina Marketing Corp., St. Petersburg, Fla., offers an alternative prepaid phone-card program featuring Checkout CallCard certificates in denominations of 15, 30 and 60 minutes that are printed and sold at checkout counters. Calling its product "a phone program made simple," CallCard certificates are activated immediately as they are printed and are ready for use.
"By selling certificates with prepaid phone time we are able to bypass packaging costs and get our product directly into the hands of the consumer," said Tim Klaska, sales director for the retail division. "Since CallCard certificates are printed on request, it is not necessary for retailers to order cards or maintain inventory. In addition, security is enhanced because printing is done only in 'live mode' and virtually eliminates shrink."
CallCards entered the market about a year and a half ago and are currently being sold at supermarket chains including Giant Food, Landover, Md., and King Kullen Grocery Co., Westbury, N.Y.