‘Cool Card’ looks to the future

Cool Cards looks to the future - The Gleaner - July 25, 2003 Across Jamaica the distinctive ‘Cool Cards’ sign is appearing in many locations as vendors catch on to the unique method of selling phone cards being provided by this young company.

Cool Cards has stormed the telecommunications industry with its creative use of technology, bold branding and innovative marketing strategies. In an effort to take full advantage of the deregulation of the telecom industry, Cool Cards, of which Joey Issa is a senior partner, invested $120 million dollars in technology, hardware, software and branding in just eight months has become the largest purveyor of pre-paid electronic calling cards for Digicel and Cable & Wireless.

Cool Cards now prides itself with having more than 300 vendor locations island-wide and has plans to bring several hundred more on stream in the coming months. With its roots in plastic card distribution, Cool Cards continues to play a major role in the distribution of the traditional plastic prepaid calling cards. Digicel Flex Cards are distributed in the Kingston and St. Catherine area from their Kingston base on Mountain View Avenue and the full range of Cable and Wireless cards are available for island-wide distribution from their office on Main Street in Ocho Rios.

Andrew Grant, managing director of Cool Cards, was the general manager of Prospect Plantation, when he was approached with the idea of building a new company with a focus on technology and the ever-popular prepaid phone card. As the immediate past president of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce, a Justice of the Peace, and an engineer by trade, Mr. Grant was more than capable of drawing together a group of young creative professionals to get the company focused on providing simple electronic solutions for people interested in selling phone cards. Mr. Grant knew if he could keep his team young and nimble it would be able to respond to the emerging market and make the necessary adjustments to the business plan without the constraint of a large bureaucratic organization.


In fact, Grant credits the success of the company to the support he has from his team, which includes dynamic sales representatives stationed across the island, strong behind-the-scenes administrators and friendly customer service representatives.

The Cool Card electronic calling card solution is easy to set-up; all vendors need is access to a telephone line and an electrical socket. With as little as two days notice, Cool Cards can put a machine in a vendor’s location and training can be done in as little as half an hour. Cool Cards provides vendors with the signs, stickers, buttons and posters that serve as fillips to the business.

Cool Cards Complete Calling Card Centre, based in Ocho Rios, quickly became a household name in St. Ann and St. Mary. “The $10,000 giveaway aired live on Reggae Sun TV weekly has really helped us get our message out,” said Andrew Grant.

“Consumers realize winning $10,000 is as easy as getting into the habit of buying Cool Card electronic phone cards and holding on to the pink paper then checking the winning numbers. Complimenting the $10,000 give away is the branding we created with a talented group of graphic designers from the US,” Mr. Grant added. Striving to create strong recognition, the colourful, strong and crisp branding can be seen everywhere; bill-boards, tow trucks, shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants have all chosen to go Cool.

Mr. Grant went on to say the company has been careful not to rely solely on its innovative product and strong branding, but has complimented this with full customer and vendor supports services as well as excellent benefits to both customers and vendors.

“Creating a rewards programme targeting both consumers and vendors has had a strong influence on our brand loyalty. The Cool Card electronic phone card system is inherently safe and secure for the vendor thereby creating a product which is sought after by shopkeepers and other sellers of phone cards,” Mr. Grant stressed.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner