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Serbia tops up with new Visa Mobile Service

London & Belgrade, 25 October 2006 - Mobile payments provider Upaid today announced the largest Visa Mobile Service (VMS) deployment with Serbian mobile operator, Telekom Serbia (MTS). Serbia is the third in a series of markets to sign up to the mobile payment service, with operators in Jordan and Morocco already using Upaid's innovative payment platform.

Compared to other recharge options, such as electronic recharge in shops, or scratch cards, Visa Mobile Service gives consumers the freedom to top-up instantly and independently at shops and merchants. After assigning a Visa card to their phone number, mobile phone users can recharge airtime anytime and anywhere, even when abroad, simply by sending a message from the handset.

Similar projects exist on the Serbian market but the potential of this service is much greater, since Visa Mobile Service links eight of its banks across Serbia together with MTS' 3.7 million customers. Based on the existing payment infrastructure in use by MTS, the service enables customers to top up their mobile phones via SMS text message which then authorises payment from a Visa debit or credit card.

All clients of Raiffeisen Bank, Banca Intesa, Alpha Bank, NLB Continental Banka who have Visa payment cards and MTS prepaid mobile account can sign up to this service. There are currently 1.8 million Visa card holders in Serbia, with the 2 million mark expected to be reached in 2007, a large proportion of which will have access to this service.

Serbia has 5.2 million mobile phone users, and a population of 7.5 million.† The market is therefore promising, as the majority of mobile phones are prepaid within Serbia. The current methods of payment for prepaid mobile phones are scratch cards and electronic recharge - both can be time-consuming and are limited to shop opening hours.†††

Chris Winter, Head of Merchant Solutions, Visa International CEMEA comments: "The VMS service has been fully operational for over two years now and we are delighted to see more banks and operators signing up to the service. Our trusted partner, Upaid has been instrumental in our expansion in to the Serbian market and we hope to repeat and even exceed the success of Jordan and Morocco in Serbia."

Simon Joyce, CEO of Upaid said: "This is another great success for us and demonstrates our ability to understand the needs of the market in order to help mobile operators realise the benefits of electronic payment transactions.† We look forward to bringing more banks into this consortium as interest in the service grows."

About Visa International

Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth.

Visa products currently generate more than $4 trillion in sales volume worldwide. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance at more than 24 million locations worldwide including one million ATMs. For more information, visit

About Upaid

Upaid is the mobile payments specialist. The company enables payment providers, aggregators, merchants and banks to offer an alternative way for their customers to make payments. Applications range from the recharge of prepaid accounts via SMS, to electronic bill payment and presentment, to billing for mobile content. The Upaid platform supports a complete eco-system for mobile commerce, giving users the choice of an operator-driven or independent billing system. Upaid holds the franchise for VISA Mobile Service throughout Central and Eastern Europe as well as the MEA region.

Upaid has offices in the US, UK, France and Brazil. Upaid is a registered trademark of Upaid Systems, Ltd.

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