KDDI, a major Japanese mobile operator, has partnered MasterCard to roll out a prepaid card programme called "au WALLET", for KDDI's 34 million au-brand mobile network subscribers, beginning 21 May.

According to a press statement, MasterCard said this will be its largest prepaid card programme in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and African regions.

The au WALLET card will enable KDDI's "au" mobile network subscribers to make payments at any merchant that accepts MasterCard payment cards, either offline or online, in more than 210 countries. Cardholders will be able to shop with ease, assured that their expenditure will remain within the pre-loaded amounts, said MasterCard.

The au WALLET card can be obtained without any credit evaluation and can be reloaded at au shops or online. Users can check their balance anytime, anywhere with their au mobile phone.

As incentives, cardholders will receive au WALLET points for every purchase made with the card. Points can be redeemed when paying au phone bills or making other shopping payments.