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MasterCard to Provide Sprint Services to Small Business Cardholders; MasterCard and Sprint Deliver Cost Savings and Special Promotions.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 8, 2001

MasterCard International and Sprint (NYSE:FON), a global communications company, today signed an agreement to deliver customized long distance services to MasterCard Small Business Connections(R) (www.mastercard.com/smallbiz) customers. MasterCard Small Business Connections serves as a portal that connects small businesses with the Internet's top business-to-business providers and MasterCard's best-in-class payment solutions.

As part of the agreement, MasterCard small business cardholders who open accounts with Sprint will receive either 100 free minutes of Sprint domestic long distance per month for 10 months or the chance to waive the standard monthly long distance service fee for 12 months. In return, Sprint customers will benefit from MasterCard's industry-leading small business resources, accessible through Sprint's website. Just one click will link Sprint's clients to the MasterCard Small Business Connections website, where they will have access to powerful and flexible payment services, results-driven business programs and innovative education tools that are tailored to their needs.

"As a leader in the development of communication solutions, Sprint will offer MasterCard Small Business Connections customers the telephony solutions they need to successfully run their businesses," said Steve Abrams, senior vice president, Corporate Payment Solutions, MasterCard International. "We're committed to delivering the best in small business services and our agreement with Sprint helps meet this goal. In addition to our own programs and services, our small business partners help deliver business-critical solutions designed specifically for this growing market."

"We are pleased to join MasterCard in serving small businesses with timely, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their growing companies," said Bernie Amyot, vice president, marketing for the National Consumer Organization, Sprint. "Sprint has long been a supporter of smaller-sized businesses and looks forward to joining MasterCard in its efforts to support this growing market."

A Community of Services

MasterCard Small Business Connections is a web community devoted to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses save time and money, communicate, and stay competitive. Additionally, MasterCard Small Business Connections is an Internet gateway for managing expenses; gathering marketplace news and information; accessing better buying opportunities on technology solutions for marketing, sales, web design, hosting, e-commerce and more. It combines all the tools and services that small business owners need to succeed, in one, easy-to-navigate location. These products and services already include:
-- MasterCard MarketAccess(TM) - A marketplace where small business cardholders
buy and sell goods and services online, MasterCard MarketAccess provides a
secure, one-stop shopping resource for small businesses by introducing offers
from a growing list of suppliers, including barnesandnoble.com, Business
Solution, Egghead.com, OfficeMax, Paper Direct, PC Flowers & Gifts and Tiger
Direct. MasterCard MarketAccess also enables businesses to create websites with
storefronts at no charge, helping them build or expand their e-commerce
initiatives.

-- MasterCard Smart Data OnLine(TM) - This web-based tool assists small
businesses in organizing, consolidating, analyzing and managing financial data
through the Internet. Accessed through a web browser in real-time, Smart Data
OnLine creates improved efficiencies in reconciling expenses and eliminating
time-consuming paperwork.

-- MasterCard Business Bonuses(TM) - This program rewards small businesses for
MasterCard purchases by allowing them to earn generous travel-based rewards for
any airline with no blackout periods. (Availability limited based on card
issuer participation. Program participation fee applies.)

-- MasterCard Business Savings(TM) - This program enables small businesses to
take advantage of special discounts MasterCard has negotiated on key goods and
services in categories including, legal, personnel, financial, office supplies,
business travel, technology, communications, marketing, public relations and
business planning.

-- Virus Protection - MasterCard is the first major credit-card company to
include a computer virus repair guarantee as a core enhancement to its credit
card offering. Under an agreement with PromiseMark(TM), MasterCard Executive
BusinessCard(R) cardholders have protective coverage from destructive viruses.

-- Education - "The Small Business Financial Resource Guide," has helped
thousands of business owners understand the basics of financing a business and
has pointed them to specific sources of capital. Available at no cost both
online and in hardcopy, "The Small Business Financial Resource Guide" answers
some basic questions small business owners may have about financing their
businesses, such as when to seek financing, what types of financing are
available, how to find local lenders and more. "The Small Business Financial
Resource Guide" can be viewed online at http://www.mastercard.com/bus
iness/smallbiz/sbfrg/. A hard copy of the guide can be ordered directly from
the website.

-- MasterCard BusinessCard(R)Card - Small businesses can better manage their
expenditures with this card's extensive array of business and travel services.
Accepted at over 18 million merchant locations, the card enables managers to
set individual spending limits based on employee and management needs and
choose the billing cycle, billing structure, and payment terms that work best
for their organizations. They also have the ability to receive comprehensive
financial reports for use at tax time. Through travel assistance services, the
MasterCard BusinessCard helps insure and protect business travelers and
maintains the highest level of customer service. These benefits include
insurance medical coverage, retail protection services, roadside assistance,
legal referrals and more.

-- MasterCard Executive BusinessCard(R) Card - This card offers qualified small
business owners and frequent travelers higher spending limits to allow for
greater freedom in handling business expenses. Toll-free assistance is
available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in more than 140 languages. This
includes emergency card replacement within one business day in the U.S. and
within two business days outside of the U.S. Through MasterCard Special
Services, personal service consultants provide a complete package of domestic
and international services including travel destination help and exclusive
retail services to meet business, gift and entertainment needs.

-- MasterCard BusinessCard(R) debit card -- This card was developed
specifically to give business owners more control over time and finances. The
card can be used to get cash at an ATM or to make purchases - the funds are
automatically deducted from a business checking account. Since it is not a
credit card, there are no monthly payments or finance charges (unless the
business accesses an overdraft line of credit).


MasterCard Small Business Connections is an Internet gateway to a multitude of resources for small business owners to successfully operate their businesses. Small Business Connections has relationships with leading online service providers such as bCentral, Digitalwork.com, EmployeeMatters, ePolicy, Freebizmag.com, Hoovers, Inc.com, Office.com, register.com, Salesforce.com, SBTV, Sprint, Stamps.com and Travelocity. MasterCard Small Business Connections can be found at http://www.mastercard.com/business/smallbiz/.

About Sprint

Sprint is a global communications company - at the forefront of integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services, and one of the largest carriers of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and is a leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $20 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 20 million business and residential customers.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 19 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.mastercard.com.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Date:Jan 8, 2001
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