Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) today announced plans to rollout Visa ReadyLink – Visa’s prepaid reload network – in 4,000 Marathon Brand retail stations. To date the service has rolled out to approximately 2,000 locations, with the remainder expected to be active by the end of 2010. Marathon markets through approximately 4,600 branded locations in 18 states in the Midwest and Southeast U.S.
By introducing Visa ReadyLink, Marathon will enable consumers to load funds to their eligible Visa Prepaid cards at thousands of convenient locations. Nearly 45,000 merchant locations nationwide have introduced or are in the process of implementing Visa ReadyLink, further extending the convenience and security of reload services to Visa prepaid cardholders in more convenient, everyday shopping locations.
The Visa ReadyLink service helps Visa’s client financial institutions and merchant partners better meet the needs of financially underserved consumers. According to Visa estimates, there are approximately 80 million underserved consumers in the U.S. — those who lack access to a payment card or are without a traditional banking relationship.
“Our relationship with Marathon brings greater access and convenient services to Visa prepaid cardholders in locations where they shop every day,” said Brian Triplett, head of global prepaid products, Visa Inc. “The expansion of Visa ReadyLink to thousands of new locations helps to make prepaid products an increasingly relevant money management tool for consumers, while enabling our merchant and financial institution partners to better serve their customers.”“Our customers are looking for a greater variety of secure and convenient payment options,” said Craig Weigand, Marathon’s Advertising and Credit Card manager. “Providing Visa ReadyLink is just one more way we can bring our customers value by providing greater access to the services they need.” More information about Visa ReadyLink the service is available at www.visa.com/reloadable. About Visa Inc. Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com. About Marathon Oil Marathon is an integrated international energy company engaged in exploration and production; oil sands mining; integrated gas; and refining, marketing and transportation operations. Marathon has principal operations in the United States, Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Indonesia, Ireland, Libya, Norway and the United Kingdom. Marathon is the fourth largest United States-based integrated oil company and the nation's fifth largest refiner. For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.marathon.com.