Western Union and MasterCard Partnership Creates Largest Open U.S. Reload Network

Western Union and MasterCard Partnership Creates Largest Open U.S. Reload Network

New Prepaid Offering Helps Bridge the Gap between Underserved Customers and Convenient Financial Products

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. & PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Western Union and MasterCard today announced that all cardholders with MasterCard® rePower®-enabled prepaid cards issued by any bank in the U.S. can now reload their cards at more than 45,000 Western Union Agent locations in the United States, making it easier and more convenient for more people to add funds to their prepaid accounts.

Western Union Reload (Photo: Business Wire)
Western Union Reload (Photo: Business Wire)

Western Union Reload (Photo: Business Wire)

With the addition of Western Union Agent locations, MasterCard now has the largest open reload network in the U.S. with over 100,000 locations. The MasterCard rePower network is open to any MasterCard issuer of reloadable prepaid card programs.

The ability to reload U.S.-issued MasterCard rePower-enabled prepaid cards at Western Union Agent locations is the first stage of the global partnership announced late last year to make electronic payments and financial services more efficient and accessible for consumers. The partnership made MasterCard the preferred brand for Western Union-sponsored prepaid programs around the world and Western Union the preferred money-transfer provider for MasterCard.

The partnership aims to make available similar and other MasterCard prepaid services to Western Union Agent locations around the world.

"Before you can use a prepaid card to shop online or pay bills, you must first be able to add funds to it," said Mike Hafer, Senior Vice President, Global Prepaid, Western Union. "And it is easy to find a Western Union location and have the funds available almost immediately. Just visit your neighborhood Western Union location and you leave with the funds conveniently loaded on your prepaid card."

In addition to Western Union locations, eligible MasterCard prepaid cardholders can top up or reload their cards at major retailers throughout the U.S., including Walgreens, RadioShack and Wal-Mart.

"MasterCard believes in offering products and services to people without access to traditional checking accounts and extending entry into the marketplace with a safe, cost-effective and convenient electronic payment alternative," said Ron Hynes, Global Prepaid Group Executive, MasterCard. "By partnering with Western Union, we're able to provide more reload locations to our prepaid cardholders, many of whom rely on prepaid cards to give them low-cost access to a payment network for paying bills and building savings."

Globally the underserved population totals more than 2.5 billion adults who have neither bank accounts (the unbanked) nor access to credit (the underbanked). According to the just released "National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked" FDIC study, approximately 68 million adults in the U.S. live in underserved households. Prepaid cards, including those that are MasterCard rePower-enabled, and money transfers like those provided by Western Union can help bridge that gap by providing an easier way for consumers to manage their finances, both electronically and with cash.

Via the partnership with Western Union and MasterCard, cardholders with U.S.-issued MasterCard rePower-enabled cards can conveniently reload their prepaid accounts at Western Union Agent locations near where they live and work. A customer can simply look for the familiar Western Union sign and provide the clerk with cash along with a prepaid card; funds are available in minutes. According to Western Union research, 66 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. prefer to reload their cards with cash.

For a limited time, customers with prepaid cards issued by a U.S. issuer participating in the MasterCard rePower network will be eligible to receive a free reload at participating Western Union Agent U.S. locations. For more information, cardholders should visit their issuer website.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYS: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of June 30, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYS: MA) , www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews, join the conversation on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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