Xantic Launches ChatCard Reload

Friday, June 14, 2002
Xantic has announced a major extension of ChatCard, its all-in-one calling solution for Inmarsat services. In an industry-first development, the new ChatCard Reload service offers a web-enabled reloading function. Shipping companies can now add units to crew cards directly on the internet, offering significant savings in both time and money. First released in 2001, Xantic's ChatCard calling solution proved an instant success. Maritime companies recognised the benefits of being able to offer crew and staff the chance to talk without having to worry about credit checks, bills, switching SIM-cards or the compatibility of cards and services. The effects of crew being able to contact home in terms of morale were also clear. ChatCard Reload takes the benefits of cost control and reduced administration to a new level. It improves cash flow, as shipping companies need to buy fewer cards and have less in stock. Whereas a new ChatCard had to be purchased each time the 250 or 500 units of credit were used, ChatCard Reload allows the cards to be recharged over and over again. The regular ChatCards can also be reloaded. This new innovation means less organization and admin for ship managers, as the cards will stay in circulation far longer. When a ChatCard is empty, crew members can request a reload and pay in advance to the Captain. The onshore office can then carry out the reloading via the internet. Every customer has access to a simple procedure on Xantic's dedicated and secure ChatCard website. An on-screen overview of all cards in the company is also provided. Crews are also likely to appreciate the new ChatCard Reload. They will no longer have to wait for new cards to arrive should their existing card run out of credits and the ship be out of cards. Reloading can be paid for within normal onboard purchasing procedures and crew will be able to better budget their card use. The facilities for crew to do the reloading themselves will also shortly become available at various ports around the world.

"ChatCard Reload demonstrates Xantic's ongoing commitment to smart solutions that improve the way our customers operate," commented Joost Smits, Executive Vice-President Maritime. "By web enabling the reloading process, maritime companies can reap the benefits of a contented crew while simultaneously reducing administrative hassle and improving cash flow. We expect to put such on-line technologies to further use with other services in the near future." A prepaid scratch card service, with billing by the second, ChatCard Reload is compatible with all Inmarsat voice services: Inmarsat-A, -B, -M, mini-M and GAN, the new Inmarsat Fleet, plus email and SMS via the new mini-C. Cards are available from Xantic distributors and can be bought in minimum packages of ten, each containing 500 units, 250 units or 50 units. ChatCard Reload also forms part of another new service just introduced by Xantic. CrewConnect is an all-in-one communication tool for emailing and SMS texting. This cost-effective solution works via Inmarsat mini-C and recognises the increasing desire among crew to use email onboard vessels.

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