Photo-Me booths to offer pre-paid phone cards

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The Independent Online

Photo-Me International, the photo-booth operator, yesterday unveiled plans to allow people to buy pre-paid phone charge cards, send e-mails and create business cards in upgraded internet-connected booths.

Photo-Me International, the photo-booth operator, yesterday unveiled plans to allow people to buy pre-paid phone charge cards, send e-mails and create business cards in upgraded internet-connected booths.

The package of services will be available in France first. It is due to be rolled out in the UK and other countries next year, and will involve a new machine - called print@call - being installed in existing booths. Serge Crasnianski, chief executive of Photo-Me, said: "We are currently talking to some large telecoms phone companies in the UK."

Under the deal Photo-Me will upgrade its booths in France with the aim of enabling a total of 1,000 booths. The process will begin in February.

In the French booths, Photo-Me will sell the charge cards for both fixed-line and mobile phones for the French telecoms company Intercall, in return for a 15 per cent slice of revenue, plus a "substantial" monthly fee. Mr Crasnianski said: "The deal represents a substantial saving for customers as they will buy the cards by the hour rather than by the minute, which will reduce the price by as much as 40 per cent."

Photo-Me's shares fell 15.5p to 165.5p yesterday.

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