Western Union and Boston Communications Group Launch Prepaid Wireless Recharge Program for Small to Mid-Sized Carriers

Agreement Offers Unprecedented Combination of Nationwide Roaming and Recharge

Services



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Boston Communications Group, Inc.

    DENVER and WOBURN, Mass., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Union Financial
 Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE:   FDC), and Boston
 Communications Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCGI) today announced they have signed a
 multi-year contract to jointly market their billing and payment solutions to
 small and mid-sized wireless carriers.  bcgi will use the Western Union(R)
 SwiftPay(SM) service to facilitate in-person subscriber payments for its
 award-winning prepaid wireless service, Prepaid Connection, as well as bcgi's
 stored value account offering, Wireless Wallet(TM).
     This agreement expands the relationship between the companies that was
 established two years ago with a similar offering for larger wireless
 carriers.  The new program offers smaller carriers the ability to utilize
 bcgi's nationwide Intelligent Voice Services Network and Western Union's
 SwiftPay service to simplify the consumer payment and airtime replenishment
 process.  By working together, Western Union and bcgi offer wireless carriers
 greater economies of scale that make it easier and economical for the carriers
 to leverage the service benefits provided by both companies.
     With bcgi's Prepaid Connection, small to mid-sized wireless carriers can
 cost-effectively and quickly enter the prepaid wireless market with an
 outsourced technology solution.  An extension of that service is Wireless
 Wallet, which provides carriers with an end-to-end mobile-commerce
 (m-commerce) payment solution that links stored value accounts to a network of
 m-commerce merchants.  To support payment acceptance and processing, Western
 Union offers carriers more than 33,000 Agent locations where their subscribers
 can go to make cash payments.  The payment is posted to the customer's account
 on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes and making
 prepaid wireless a more appealing option for subscribers while at home or
 roaming across the country.
     "Small and mid-size carriers must diversify their offerings to stay
 competitive and gain marketshare," said E.Y. Snowden, president and CEO of
 bcgi.  "Prepaid wireless is gaining momentum and acceptance in the U.S.  Our
 relationship with Western Union will make it possible for these carriers to
 provide their subscribers with an easy way to replenish their prepaid accounts
 for airtime or commerce services."
     "Prepaid wireless is among the fastest growing segments of the wireless
 industry and is expected to grow to more than 34 million subscribers by
 2003*," said Joe Jackson, president, Western Union Commercial Services.  "This
 rapid growth offers both incredible business opportunities and incredible
 challenges, especially in the area of convenient payment mechanisms.  The
 Western Union(R) SwiftPay(SM) service is a convenient, value-added way of
 making payments in the prepaid industry.  By making it easier for end users to
 replenish their accounts, the SwiftPay(SM) service also makes it easier for
 prepaid service providers to expand their business and better serve their
 customers' needs."
 
     * The Yankee Group
 
     About Western Union
     Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp.
 (NYSE:   FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services.
 Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at approximately
 104,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the
 Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer networks.  Famous for its
 pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851
 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871.  Western Union is
 celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001.  For more information, please visit
 the company's web site at www.westernunion.com .
 
     About Boston Communications Group, Inc.
     Boston Communications Group, Inc. (bcgi), an S&P Small Cap 600 Index
 company, is a leader in real-time transaction processing for services like
 prepaid wireless, enhanced voice, and mobile commerce services.  Founded in
 1988, bcgi provides real-time transaction processing and payment services, as
 well as other enhanced voice and data services, to wireless carriers through
 its Intelligent Voice Services Network (IVSN) and its proprietary, highly
 scalable transaction processing platform. Through this nationwide real-time
 infrastructure, bcgi provides one or more of its services to approximately 70
 wireless carriers and resellers, including seven of the ten largest domestic
 carriers. The IVSN and transaction processing platform support bcgi's Prepaid
 Wireless service, the market leader in one of the highest growth segments of
 the wireless communications industry. bcgi handles approximately 1.5 billion
 minutes of service a year. Please visit the bcgi web site at
 http://www.bcgi.net .
 
 

SOURCE Boston Communications Group, Inc.
    DENVER and WOBURN, Mass., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Union Financial
 Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE:   FDC), and Boston
 Communications Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCGI) today announced they have signed a
 multi-year contract to jointly market their billing and payment solutions to
 small and mid-sized wireless carriers.  bcgi will use the Western Union(R)
 SwiftPay(SM) service to facilitate in-person subscriber payments for its
 award-winning prepaid wireless service, Prepaid Connection, as well as bcgi's
 stored value account offering, Wireless Wallet(TM).
     This agreement expands the relationship between the companies that was
 established two years ago with a similar offering for larger wireless
 carriers.  The new program offers smaller carriers the ability to utilize
 bcgi's nationwide Intelligent Voice Services Network and Western Union's
 SwiftPay service to simplify the consumer payment and airtime replenishment
 process.  By working together, Western Union and bcgi offer wireless carriers
 greater economies of scale that make it easier and economical for the carriers
 to leverage the service benefits provided by both companies.
     With bcgi's Prepaid Connection, small to mid-sized wireless carriers can
 cost-effectively and quickly enter the prepaid wireless market with an
 outsourced technology solution.  An extension of that service is Wireless
 Wallet, which provides carriers with an end-to-end mobile-commerce
 (m-commerce) payment solution that links stored value accounts to a network of
 m-commerce merchants.  To support payment acceptance and processing, Western
 Union offers carriers more than 33,000 Agent locations where their subscribers
 can go to make cash payments.  The payment is posted to the customer's account
 on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes and making
 prepaid wireless a more appealing option for subscribers while at home or
 roaming across the country.
     "Small and mid-size carriers must diversify their offerings to stay
 competitive and gain marketshare," said E.Y. Snowden, president and CEO of
 bcgi.  "Prepaid wireless is gaining momentum and acceptance in the U.S.  Our
 relationship with Western Union will make it possible for these carriers to
 provide their subscribers with an easy way to replenish their prepaid accounts
 for airtime or commerce services."
     "Prepaid wireless is among the fastest growing segments of the wireless
 industry and is expected to grow to more than 34 million subscribers by
 2003*," said Joe Jackson, president, Western Union Commercial Services.  "This
 rapid growth offers both incredible business opportunities and incredible
 challenges, especially in the area of convenient payment mechanisms.  The
 Western Union(R) SwiftPay(SM) service is a convenient, value-added way of
 making payments in the prepaid industry.  By making it easier for end users to
 replenish their accounts, the SwiftPay(SM) service also makes it easier for
 prepaid service providers to expand their business and better serve their
 customers' needs."
 
     * The Yankee Group
 
     About Western Union
     Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp.
 (NYSE:   FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services.
 Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at approximately
 104,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the
 Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer networks.  Famous for its
 pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851
 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871.  Western Union is
 celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001.  For more information, please visit
 the company's web site at www.westernunion.com .
 
     About Boston Communications Group, Inc.
     Boston Communications Group, Inc. (bcgi), an S&P Small Cap 600 Index
 company, is a leader in real-time transaction processing for services like
 prepaid wireless, enhanced voice, and mobile commerce services.  Founded in
 1988, bcgi provides real-time transaction processing and payment services, as
 well as other enhanced voice and data services, to wireless carriers through
 its Intelligent Voice Services Network (IVSN) and its proprietary, highly
 scalable transaction processing platform. Through this nationwide real-time
 infrastructure, bcgi provides one or more of its services to approximately 70
 wireless carriers and resellers, including seven of the ten largest domestic
 carriers. The IVSN and transaction processing platform support bcgi's Prepaid
 Wireless service, the market leader in one of the highest growth segments of
 the wireless communications industry. bcgi handles approximately 1.5 billion
 minutes of service a year. Please visit the bcgi web site at
 http://www.bcgi.net .
 
 SOURCE  Boston Communications Group, Inc.

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