Consumer Payment Card News

CardLess Money Transfers

Western Union Financial Services and EDS announced Tuesday they are developing a system for cardless, consumer-initiated cash and cash equivalent transfers at ATM machines. The system, based on EDS patents, will enable consumers to electronically move funds from person to person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at more than 13,000 EDS-operated ATM machines and 25,000 Western Union agent locations throughout the U.S..The system will feature on-screen prompts that instruct consumers to enter transaction information and numeric codes on an ATM keypad. The consumer sending cash will insert his debit card, then enter his PIN and amount of cash to be sent. The ATM then asks the customer for a ten-digit number, and the system generates a confirmation code. After verifying the consumer’s ID, the terminals displays a fee amount and issues two receipts. The consumer then simply forwards the transaction information to the recipient. The consumer receiving the cash needs neither an access card or bank account — simply going to the nearest ATM offering the service and receiving the cash instantly. The companies plan to deliver a domestic pilot program of the new system by April 1999. Western Union will also market the service to other ATM networks.

FULL STORY:
Moving money around the world is critical to everyone from business people and tourists to families and college students. And it is about to get much easier and faster, dollar to dollar, person to person.

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation , and EDS announced Tuesday that Western Union has obtained an exclusive, worldwide license to use a patent developed by EDS for cardless, consumer-initiated cash and cash equivalent transfers at ATM machines.

EDS will develop the system that will enable Western Union to bring the product to market, allowing consumers to electronically move funds from person to person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at more than 13,000 EDS-operated ATM machines and 25,000 Western Union agent locations throughout the United States.

“This clearly represents the next generation of electronic money transfer and Western Union and EDS are leading the cutting edge of this technology,” said Doug McNary, president , Western Union North America. “This system will fulfill consumers’ demands for a fully automated money transfer option that enhances our retail agent network.”

The system will allow for money transfers both to and from ATM machines as well as Western Union agent locations. The companies plan to deliver a domestic pilot program of the new system by April 1999. Western Union will also market the service to other ATM networks.

“While this is a very significant development, the retail agent network will continue to be our primary sales and customer service delivery system,” McNary continued. “The new system will improve on the customer service our agents provide by allowing consumers to send and receive funds anytime — day or night.”

The easy-to-use system will feature on-screen prompts that instruct consumers to enter transaction information and numeric codes on an ATM keypad. The consumer sending cash will insert his debit card, then enter his PIN (personal identification code) and amount of cash to be sent. The ATM then asks the customer for a ten-digit number, and the system generates a confirmation code. after verifying the consumer’s ID, the terminals displays a fee amount and issues two receipts. The consumer then simply forwards the transaction information to the recipient.

Most importantly, the consumer receiving the cash needs neither an access card nor bank account — simply going to the nearest ATM offering the service and receiving the cash instantly.

“Bottom line: this provides the consumer with another valuable ATM convenience in the next millennium,” said Paul Rudolph, president of Electronic Business at EDS. “The new service EDS is providing to Western Union demonstrates our ability to develop greater flexibility for the ATM and adds to our growing suite of products and services that enhances the consumer experience.”

EDS Electronic Business, is responsible for all software development and will utilize the company’s existing ATM infrastructure of more than 13,000 terminals to deliver the product for Western Union. The funds transfer service will include comprehensive support, including on-line, real-time transaction processing, terminal driving and customer service. Based in Englewood, Colo., Western Union Financial Services is a worldwide leader in rapid money transfer services. The company transfers funds in minutes from more than 40,000 agent locations in over 150 countries. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union introduced electronic money transfer services in 1871.

Western Union is a subsidiary of First Data Corporation. Founded in 1992, Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money.

EDS, the official information technology services provider for World Cup 1998, is a leader in the global information services industry. The company’s approximately 110,000 employees specialize in applying a range of ideas and technologies to help business and government customers improve their economics, products, services and relationships. EDS, which serves customers in 44 countries, reported revenues of $15.2 billion in 1997. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. EDS can be visited via the Internet at http://www.eds.com.

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