Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
Calling cards, also known as phone cards, are prepaid cards used to pay for phone services. They are often shaped like credit cards, but today it is not always necessary to carry the physical card. As long as you have the correct telephone number to dial and your PIN, your calls should work.
Phone cards are good for calling areas you have no consistent service in, such as international destinations. On the opposite side, calling cards are also useful for travelers who wish to call home. They can be used from landlines, mobile, or payphones.
A calling card can work in three ways.
The first is a stored-value phone card. When the card is used for a telephone call, the system makes a physical alteration to the card to update the balance. These were used on public payphones with card readers.
The second type of calling card uses a remote memory system.
The balance on the account is read by the system when you enter a toll-free number into a phone. The calling card is more of a symbol of the account, though it will list the required info and numbers on the back. Remote memory cards are cheaper in general, but they have many digits that need to be entered before your call is processed.
The third type has no physical presence at all. Virtual phone cards are really accounts with no associated card. Virtual cards can be bought online, and delivered via email. These phone cards are either prepaid or direct debit.