Visa Extends Prepaid Card Reload Capabilities
System Enhancement to Bring Visa Ready Link to Participating ATMs Nationwide
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 2008--Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced an enhancement to its prepaid reload network, Visa ReadyLink, which will enable consumers to add funds to eligible Visa prepaid cards at participating automated teller machines (ATMs) that accept envelope-free deposits across the United States. The new service is expected to rollout later this fall.
More than 7,000 merchant locations across the U.S. have implemented Visa ReadyLink since it first launched in 2006. The innovative service supports the adoption of prepaid products by helping meet the needs of financially underserved consumers - the more than 80 million consumers in the U.S. who lack access to a payment card or a traditional banking relationship, and who rely heavily on cash for everyday transactions.
With Visa ReadyLink, consumers have an easy way to reload funds to Visa reloadable prepaid cards - including payroll, general purpose reloadable and government disbursement cards - at everyday merchant locations like supermarkets and convenience stores, providing immediate access to funds with a safer, more convenient payment alternative to cash and checks.
Using Visa ReadyLink at the ATM
Today, thousands of envelope-free ATMs enable customers to conveniently make deposits by simply inserting cash or paper checks directly into a financial institution's ATMs. Likewise, consumers with eligible Visa reloadable prepaid cards will be able to add cash funds to their cards conveniently and securely in the same manner at participating ATMs.
"Standing in long check-cashing lines and carrying around a week's wages in cash is often the norm for people without access to a payments card or bank account," said Brian Triplett, Global Head of Prepaid Products at Visa Inc. "By bringing Visa ReadyLink first to retailers and now offering advancements to make reload capabilities available at ATMs, we can provide a much safer and easier alternative for cardholders. We intend to continue to use the value of Visa's network to grow the prepaid category in ways that help our partners capture a greater share of cash and check spend."
In addition to consumer benefits, the expansion of Visa ReadyLink delivers greater value to ATM owners and financial institutions. For ATM owners, Visa ReadyLink creates an opportunity to provide innovative services to customers that can help drive incremental revenue--all through an existing VisaNet connection. For financial institutions, VisaReadyLink transactions are processed like any Visa transaction; and as with any authorized and approved transaction, funds are guaranteed by the ATM acquirer to the card issuer.
Visa and its partners are investing in the growth of the prepaid category to penetrate paper-heavy payment segments in the U.S., while creating opportunities for Visa to grow electronic payments in countries that still rely heavily on cash - Visa's largest global competitor. Increasingly, consumers are turning to prepaid products for the convenience and security they provide, while businesses and governments are realizing cost savings and efficiencies by distributing payroll and benefits - like unemployment and child support funds with a Visa prepaid card instead of checks.
Those interested in learning more about implementing Visa ReadyLink should contact their Visa account executive. More information about the service is also available at www.visa.com/reloadable.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
Jennifer Doidge, 415-932-2564
SOURCE: Visa Inc.