Visa reports rising uptake of pre-paid load service

Source: Visa USA

Visa USA today announced that nearly twenty issuers, partners, processors and acquiring financial institutions have agreed to implement Visa ReadyLink, which will rapidly expand the accessibility of Visa's prepaid load network service.

Visa recently announced an agreement with Blackhawk Network's alliance partner stores, making Safeway the first in Blackhawk Network's alliance of 60,000 stores in North America to implement Visa ReadyLink.

The Visa ReadyLink service allows consumers to more easily add funds to eligible Visa reloadable prepaid cards at participating retail locations. The extensive list of new participants represents the entire Visa ReadyLink transaction flow and will ultimately make it more convenient for consumers to add funds to reloadable Visa prepaid cards.

Visa ReadyLink adds a significant enhancement to the VisaNet infrastructure, utilizing VisaNet's scale and reliability, along with its standardized settlement processes and timing. Implementation of the service will help to support continued adoption of prepaid products.

"This impressive list of participants demonstrates high awareness of the need to provide cardholders with a reliable, convenient way to add funds to their reloadable prepaid Visa cards," said Todd Brockman, senior vice president, prepaid products, Visa USA. "The ability to reload Visa prepaid products at merchant locations will help drive category growth as consumers - especially underserved consumers - seek convenient, safe and consistent ways in which to add funds to reloadable prepaid cards."

Visa ReadyLink Participants

To date, participants represent the entire reload transaction, including issuers, partners, processors, acquiring financial institutions and merchants. Participants include:

Issuers

BankFirst has already adopted Visa ReadyLink; U.S. Bank has implemented Visa ReadyLink for its payroll card program. Bank of America, MetaBank, National City Bank and West Suburban Bank are in the process of implementing the service.

Partners

Partners in the process of adopting the service include ADP Employer Services, FSV Payment Systems, Money Network, PreCash and Skylight Financial, Inc.

Processors

Galileo, Metavante and Visa Debit Processing Services are already supporting Visa ReadyLink. Alliance Data and eFunds Prepaid Solutions have indicated that they will implement the service soon.

Acquiring Financial Institutions

Fifth Third has already implemented Visa ReadyLink, and Fiserv is in the process of adopting the service.

Merchants

While direct deposit is the primary method many cardholders use to fund Visa reloadable prepaid cards, Visa research shows consumers also want the flexibility to add funds to their cards at everyday shopping locations such as supermarkets, drugstores and discount retailers.

In December 2006, Visa announced Safeway as the first in Blackhawk Network's alliance of 60,000 stores in North America to implement Visa ReadyLink. Visa ReadyLink is currently being implemented at more than 1,550 retail locations nationwide, including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick's, Genuardi's, Pak 'n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons and Tom Thumb stores.

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