Visa USA today announced an agreement with convenience store retailer 7-Eleven, to introduce Visa ReadyLink, Visa's prepaid load network, to its U.S. convenience stores.
7-Eleven, the world's largest convenience store chain and one of the nation's largest independent gasoline retailers, will work with its Visa member acquiring financial institution to implement the service.
This service will allow consumers to add funds to eligible Visa reloadable prepaid cards at the nearly 5,350 stores that 7-Eleven operates and franchises in the contiguous U.S.
Visa ReadyLink also enables Visa and its member financial institutions to further meet the needs of "underserved" consumers. According to Visa estimates, there are approximately 80 million underserved consumers in the U.S. - those who lack access to a payment card or are without a traditional banking relationship. This consumer segment receives approximately $1 trillion in annual income and relies heavily on cash for everyday transactions.
Visa ReadyLink adds a significant enhancement to the VisaNet infrastructure, using VisaNet's scope, efficiency and reliability along with standardized settlement processes and timing. Implementation of the service will help to support continued adoption of prepaid products while enabling merchants to increase traffic to retail locations and drive customer loyalty.
"Visa's agreement with 7-Eleven significantly extends the national footprint of Visa ReadyLink, which means greater access, value and convenience for cardholders who desire a better alternative to cash and checks," said Todd Brockman, senior vice president, prepaid products, Visa USA. "Visa ReadyLink offers a critical infrastructure to respond to a direct need in the marketplace, while enabling merchant partners and member financial institutions to maximize the potential of prepaid products."
"Customers rely on 7-Eleven to fill their daily convenience needs, and our stores have a reputation for speedy transactions and leading-edge prepaid services such as Visa ReadyLink," said Robbie Radant, 7-Eleven's director of payment acceptance. "The ability to load funds onto Visa reloadable prepaid cards at any of our stores makes 7-Eleven even more relevant to our customers' daily life."
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 convenience stores.
Cardholders will be able to load funds onto participating Visa reloadable prepaid cards at 7-Eleven stores later this year.