Source: Tio Networks
Tio Networks (TSX.V-TNC), North America's leading automated "walk-up" bill payment and financial services network, and Visa today announced a strategic agreement to provide consumers with secure and convenient access to reload their eligible Visa prepaid cards with cash through Visa ReadyLink, Visa's prepaid load network.
TIO will implement Visa ReadyLink at ExxonMobil, Circle K and other participating TIO Networks convenience store chains before the end of 2007. Customers will be able to load cash funds to eligible Visa reloadable prepaid cards at TIO's self-serve automated financial services kiosks and hybrid ATMs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Our strategic alliance with TIO creates a new channel for Visa and our bank clients to reach consumers, especially those without access to a traditional bank account or a payments card," said Nizam Antoo, vice president, prepaid products, Visa. "By making Visa reload capabilities available through TIO's national network of financial services kiosks, we're able to offer greater access and convenience for Visa prepaid cardholders who are looking for an alternative to cash and checks."
"This agreement marks a significant milestone in TIO's efforts to become the leading national self-serve automated reload network in the United States," said Hamed Shahbazi, Chairman and CEO of TIO Networks. "TIO is deeply committed to enabling reload capabilities to support the growing number of prepaid cardholders."
According to Visa estimates, there are approximately 80 million financially underserved consumers in the U.S., or 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.
While direct deposit is the primary method many cardholders use to fund reloadable Visa prepaid cards, Visa research shows consumers also want the flexibility to add funds to prepaid cards at everyday shopping locations, like convenience stores and gas stations. The availability of the service at participating TIO Networks convenience store chains may help to enhance the utility of existing reloadable prepaid card products offered by Visa issuers, including payroll, general purpose reloadable and government disbursement cards.