Credit Cards

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wachovia Bank Jumps Into The Prepaid Debit Card Game with the Introduction of A New Prepaid Payroll Card

As a testament to the increased popularity of prepaid payroll cards, Wachovia Bank has just unveiled a new prepaid (Visa) debit card designed specifically to compete in the prepaid payroll card market. Here is a snippet from today's press release from Wachovia:

"Wachovia today announced that it has launched Wachovia Direct Pay(R), a Visa-branded prepaid debit card that provides employers an additional option for increased participation in payroll direct deposit. Employers can electronically deposit employees' net pay and other payroll-related funds to the card via ACH. The employees/cardholders can then use the card to access their net pay at ATMs and merchant locations.

Businesses can use Wachovia's Direct Pay to deposit payroll funds for employees who do not have a traditional bank account and do not participate in a direct deposit program. This service reduces the costs associated with processing, printing and mailing paper checks and can help eliminate the expenses related to replacing and reconciling lost or stolen checks.

'Direct deposit of payroll is more secure than paper checks and employers of all sizes can realize long-term cost savings from sponsoring a payroll card program,' according to Michael S. Daley, Senior Vice President and Head of Product Solutions with Wachovia's Treasury Services Division. 'Wachovia's Direct Pay cards are funded via standard ACH direct deposit transactions and require no changes to a company's direct deposit file.'

For employees without bank accounts, payroll cards provide quicker, safer access to their money than a paper check by eliminating the check cashing fees incurred by non-account holders and saving time by not having to wait in line to cash their payroll checks. Payroll cards give employees a convenient way to securely access their funds 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Wachovia Direct Pay cards are accepted worldwide at ATMs, including more than 5,300 Wachovia ATM locations as well as more than one million ATMs in the Visa/Plus network. In addition, employees can maximize their purchasing power by using the card to pay for goods and services at the 24 million merchant locations that accept Visa debit cards. Cardholders can access account information 24 hours a day via the Web, via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or by speaking directly to a customer service agent.

Wachovia supplies its clients with marketing materials to help promote this service and card use to their employees. With its fast and easy implementation process, the service can be set up within a few payroll cycles. 'When employees do not have a bank account, Wachovia Direct Pay provides employers with an easy option that allows them to deposit their pay electronically. Cardholders benefit by having access to their funds more quickly than with a paper check,' says Dana Blaylock, Vice President and Card Products Manager with Wachovia's Treasury Services Division. 'A payroll card is a secure option for an employee and is cost-effective for the employer.'

As payroll cards continue to evolve, Wachovia continues to evaluate features and functionality to enhance and expand its prepaid card offerings."

FYI: Wachovia is America's 4th largest bank holding company based on assets and is the 3rd largest full-service brokerage firm based on client assets. Wachovia has $512 billion in total assets, $48 billion in stockholders' equity and average deposits totaling $297 billion.

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