MasterCard and Western Union Announce Partnership to Serve the Underserved

According to Michael Hafer, Senior Vice President, Global Prepaid Western Union: “Today is an exciting day for Western Union and MasterCard. As you might have seen, today we announced that anyone with a rePower-enabled MasterCard prepaid card can reload that card at any Western Union location in the United States.

This adds nearly 50,000 locations to MasterCard’s existing reload network with partners like Walmart, Circle K, and Walgreens – and, more importantly, gives MasterCard the largest open reload network in the U.S., with more than 100,000 locations.

Locations in an open network support many cards. For example, at Western Union, we support a wide variety of stored-value programs, including prepaid cards and mobile-phone programs. Including the rePower-enabled cards, our Agent locations in the U.S. now support more than 170 different stored-value programs.

This partnership with MasterCard combines the best of both worlds. MasterCard’s prepaid cards provide many people in the U.S. and around the world with an electronic way to manage their finances. Western Union provides the cash link that’s so critical in much of the world. Prepaid cards are a valuable tool to help people manage their finances and avoid overspending, but they are useless if you can’t put money on them.

At Western Union, we believe that our role is to serve the 2+ billion people worldwide who are “underserved” by traditional financial services. We believe that prepaid products and partnerships like this will bring financial inclusion to many of the underserved population. In fact, our own research shows that the underserved use prepaid products and services to manage their daily finances – for purchasing things at the point of sale or securely shopping online.

MasterCard is a vital partner in our efforts to introduce prepaid solutions around the world, and we look forward to working together in the future.”