The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, together with Lottomatica and MasterCard today announced the launch of the My WU® reloadable prepaid card in Italy.
Lottomatica, the brand through which GTECH S.p.A operates in Italy, is one of the most trusted and well-known brands in Italy, is the first company in Europe to join the Western Union® Global Share platform. The platform, announced earlier this year, enables Western Union to introduce new stored-value solutions in markets around the world by joining forces with local companies.
The My WU prepaid card is designed to serve the more than 4 million registered migrant workers in Italy who need convenient access to financial services. The cards will be available at 15,000 Lottomatica Carta Lis locations throughout Italy and online at wu.com/it/mywu/prepaid. Customers also will have the option to reload their My WU prepaid cards at more than 22,000 locations and over 10,000 ATMs across Italy.
"The launch of the My WU card in Italy is part of our global strategy to leverage our wide-reaching, powerful and trusted brand - along with brands such as Lottomatica and MasterCard - to better serve the financial needs of our core customers around the world," said Diane Scott, Executive Vice President, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Western Union. "Through the Western Union Global Share platform, we look forward to continuing to develop innovative solutions that address the unmet financial services needs of customers worldwide, while adding more choices and convenience."
The My WU card will offer customers in Italy who do not have bank accounts the ability to send money transfers, receive direct deposits from their employers, make retail purchases in shops and online outlets that accept MasterCard as well as to withdraw money from ATMs across Italy. My WU cardholders will also be able to fund Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their cards at Lottomatica locations where the service is available, while also benefiting from the advantages of Western Union's consumer loyalty program.
"We have created a prepaid card thhat is primarily targeted at migrant workers in our country," said Sergio Signoretti, CEO of CartaLis Imel, "and have made it available through our retail network. Market research shows that one of the priorities for migrant workers is access to financial services and to send money to their home country."
In 2011, MasterCard and The Western Union Company announced a global agreement to help make electronic payments, including prepaid cards and money transfers, more efficient and convenient for consumers around the world. Carlo Enrico, group executive, strategy and development, MasterCard, said "we view the introduction of this service in Italy as a significant advancement in our joint efforts to support financial inclusion around the world."