BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here has chosen AT&T as its new prepaid calling-card vendor.
&T will distribute more than $100 million worth of prepaid cards through Wal-Mart properties over the next year. These include 2,400 Wal-Mart stores nationwide and 450 Sam's Clubs. The deal will more than triple the number of retail outlets carrying AT&T cards, according to a press statement. Officials at Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment.
Having entered the prepaid phone-card market just two years ago, AT&T is a late comer to the $2 billion calling-card market. Sources say the company hopes to build its brand name and increase the number of users of its other telecommunications services through prepaid cards. Last month AT&T announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of SmarTalk TeleServices, Dublin, Ohio, a leading provider of prepaid calling cards and prepaid wireless services, for $192.5 million in cash.
"We've been focused on expanding the retail availability of our cards," said Howard McNally, vice president, AT&T Transaction Services. "People around the world look to Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs for outstanding value, and to AT&T as a brand they can trust for all their communications needs," he added.
According to SN, last year prepaid cards from AT&T were being dispensed through vending machines at Pathmark, Grand Union, Fleming Company, Price Chopper and Star Market stores.