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Western Union Launches Enhanced Consumer Loyalty Prepaid Card Targeting 8 Million Western Union[R] Gold Card Members in the U.S.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in money transfer services, announced today plans to enhance The Western Union[R] Gold Card, the company's global consumer loyalty program, with the convenience of a reloadable Visa[R] prepaid card1.

Western Union will selectively offer the program starting in July targeting 8 million Western Union Gold Card loyalty members in the U.S.

"Whether it's cash, account, or card based, our expanding global money-movement network provides consumers more ways to move money quickly to more places worldwide than any other business," said Stewart A. Stockdale, executive vice president and president, The Americas for Western Union.

"Designed to better serve the needs of our money-transfer send customer, the new and enhanced debit prepaid Western Union Gold Card will help strengthen our relationship and value proposition among our most loyal customers, providing each with increased convenience, and smart and cost-effective ways to better manage their money in what is becoming a cash versus credit driven economy."

According to a recent Western Union consumer survey one in four Americans say they are using cash more often than they have in the past; 88 percent say an important reason they use cash is to avoid high interest rates and fees charged by credit card companies; and 91 percent say it is important for them to use cash more often so they avoid building credit card debt.

"The Western Union Gold Card prepaid card will now offer consumers the flexibility they need and want," concluded Stockdale.

The Western Union Gold Card Visa[R] Prepaid Card benefits:

Prepaid Benefits

* The Western Union Gold Card Visa Prepaid Card serves as both a loyalty program card and a Visa Prepaid Card

* The card can be reloaded

* Consumers save time and can earn valuable benefits, including discounts, when sending qualifying Western Union Money Transfer[R] and Quick Collect[R] transactions

* No monthly maintenance or purchase transaction fees, unlike other prepaid cards

* Cardholders can use the card anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted including online and at ATMs2

* The Western Union Gold Card Visa Prepaid Card is protected by Visa's zero liability policy3 (details at

* If lost or stolen the consumer has the option to have the card replaced

* Access to account activity online

* SMS (texts) and email balance alert capabilities

Gold Card Benefits

* Western Union Gold Card members do not need to fill out money-transfer forms when sending money-transfers

* Gold Card member information is easily retrieved expediting transactions

* Members earn points to redeem for rewards that include merchandise or money-transfer discounts

* Every transaction with a Gold Card earns free phone time

* The Western Union Gold Card also serves as a calling card, allowing the user to recharge phone time

* To enroll in The Western Union Gold Card program, consumers will need to call The Western Union Customer Service Center at 1-877-984-0469 for English or 1-877-984-0464 for Spanish

"In speaking to prepaid providers, Mercator Advisory Group has discovered that this difficult economy has significantly increased consumer acquisition and usage of these prepaid cards around the world," said Tim Sloane, vice president client services and director Prepaid Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group, the leading market research organization focused exclusively on payments.

"The opportunity for prepaid card providers is to deliver the services the customer wants in order to retain the cardholder. This represents a significant opportunity for Western Union to attract consumers through their loyalty Gold Card program, since Western Union knows who the customer is, what services they use, and what financial help they need. These are all the critical factors that are pre-requisites for designing and implementing creative prepaid products that deliver high value to cardholders."

Western Union recently launched an innovative Overnight Home Delivery service4 pilot featuring the new Western Union MoneyWise[TM] Visa prepaid debit card designed to better meet the needs of money-transfer receive consumers.

The MoneyWise[TM] card is sent overnight via FedEx[R] so that it arrives at the recipient's door the next day and can be activated by the receiver with the Western Union Money Transfer Control Number. The card also is protected by the Visa[R] zero liability policy.

Together, the Western Union Gold Card and MoneyWise[TM] Visa prepaid cards offer both send and receive money-transfer consumers the ability to upload money to a reloadable prepaid debit card with the flexibility to leveraging rewards and benefits to send and receive money transfers, and make retail, online or over the phone purchases anywhere the Visa card is accepted worldwide.

Survey Methodology

The survey, commissioned by Western Union and conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media polled 1,000 people 18 years old and older between May 21 and May 24, 2009.

1The Western Union[R] Gold Card Visa Prepaid Card is issued by MetaBank, Member FDIC pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

2ATM withdrawals are subject to a fee of $1 per use plus applicable ATM operator fees apply. ATM withdrawals limited to $500/day.

(3)Visa's Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit

4Overnight Home Delivery Service and MoneyWise[TM] Visa[R] Prepaid Cards not available to send to Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. military bases, and the Virgin Islands, The MoneyWise Visa prepaid card is subject to terms, conditions, restrictions and fees for use. Use of the card may be subject to user identification requirements and transaction and load limits.

About MetaBank[TM]

MetaBank is a federally-chartered savings bank regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Meta Financial Group, Inc.([R]) is the holding company for MetaBank, Meta Payment Systems([R]), and Meta Trust Company([R]). For more information, visit

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in the money transfer segment of global payments. Together with its Orlandi Valuta and Vigo branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a combined network of more than 379,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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