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October 17, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Following an agreement between Barclays Plc’s Barclaycard and UK mobile telephone operator, Cellnet Mobile Communications Ltd, UK Barclaycard Visa card holders signing to use the network will receive a 20% reduction on their UK and long distance cellular calls and receive real time information on their credit account. Barclaycard will offer its customers the option of paying credit card bills and calling up financial services by pressing a dedicated button on their Alcatel NV telephone. To access these services customers must buy a phone made by the French telecommunications company which costs ú50 and a Smart Card that comes free with the phone. Users slot the card into the telephone, enter their personal identification number and are then automatically connected to a customer service desk. However, Barclaycard said that it is now discussing with Alcatel the incorporation of a screen in the telephone that will display this information. Barclaycard also plans to enable the Smart Cards to be used for electronic funds transfers although this option was very much dependent on customer demand. The service is targeted at Barclaycard customers that uses a mobile phone for roughly 30 minutes a month. Customers will pay ú15 a month and will and will be charged 28p per minute peak rate and 12p minutes off peak for UK and Contential calls. Barclaycard said it will take a cut on each call made and in return Cellnet gains access to the UK Barclaycard customer base which it can use to build up Cellnet customers. Barclaycard said that it would start mailing around 50,000 customers this week but would eventually roll the scheme out to all of its nine million customers.

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