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Vodafone and Link sign ATM phone top-up deal

Nick Huber
The roll out of cash machine-based mobile phone top-up services gained momentum last week when cash machine network Link signed a contract with mobile operator Vodafone.

The Link contract will allow Vodafone customers to top up their pre-pay mobile accounts at automated teller machines (ATMs). It is Link's first deal with a mobile operator.

Link said it expects other mobile operators to follow Vodafone's example in the near future.

"We envisage the time when customers of any mobile operator will be able to top up their airtime at any UK ATM," said Nigel Wright, operations and development director at Link. "This deal paves the way for members of the Link network to offer the services at their ATMs."

The collaboration between banks and mobile phone companies presents opportunities for financial services companies to extend their customer reach using IT. Earlier this year Abbey National and Orange launched the UK's first mobile phone credit service using ATMs.

In March Computer Weekly reported discussions between the UK's main mobile operators, high street banks and the Link cash machine network to set up a mobile phone credit top-up facility using ATMs.

In addition to the contract with Vodafone, Link has signed agreements with Moneybox Corporation, which manages its ATM network, and card issuer Creation Financial Services to deliver the top-up service. Software to connect the bank and mobile operator networks will be supplied by ACI.

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