Global electronic commerce and payments processing leader First Data today announced that its Star Network is the first electronic funds transfer network (EFT) to launch load and reload support for Star-branded general purpose prepaid cards.
First Annapolis estimates that the general purpose prepaid market will reach $170 billion in spend and cash volume by 2012.
General purpose prepaid cards - like First Data's Money Network card -- work just like debit cards, which allow cardholders to make purchases, pay bills, or withdraw cash at millions of locations. The STAR Network has supported general purpose prepaid programs with PIN-secured ATM and POS transactions, and with its biller-direct payment service for many years.
Now, through patent pending technology, the STAR Network has completed the infrastructure to enable load and reload functionality at participating ATM and POS locations. The expanded transaction set includes activation, load/reload and split tender purchases - with PIN-security and the associated reduction in fraud built in. The new STAR RELOAD service icon (shown at right) denoting load/reload card capabilities will be displayed with the STAR brand on participating cards, merchant point-of-sale and ATM locations.
"The launch of this functionality clearly demonstrates the commitment to technology and higher security that First Data and STAR continue to make on behalf of STAR member financial institutions and general purpose prepaid issuers," said Julie Saville, vice president, product development. "It's another example of how First Data and STAR are enabling the full spectrum of profitable, secure payment transactions for card issuers and ATM deployers."
STAR is a leading EFT network in the U.S. with more than 2 million retail and ATM locations.