WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa Inc. and the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education ® (AFCPE ®) today announced the launch of a new program designed to provide veterans with professional financial management support. The Visa Veterans Financial Outreach Program set the goal of providing 1,500 veterans with free, unbiased financial counseling over the next 18 months. Both Visa and the AFCPE are working to make former armed servicemen and women aware of the Visa Veterans Financial Outreach Program through promotion via web and social media outlets. Additionally, along with Visa's assistance, AFCPE's network of certified financial counselors will identify veterans that could most benefit from the program. Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC ®) will connect to participating veterans using a newly developed, dual-platform that allows counselors to work directly with individuals during face to face and virtual financial counseling sessions. AFC professionals, who will be sharing resources and financial management tools with veterans, undergo a rigorous certification program and are uniquely trained to assist individuals in the complex process of financial decision making. All AFC professionals participating in the program have experience working with military families and have taken part in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation's Military in Transition financial education series. "Due to the impending drawdown of the U.S. Armed Forces, additional financial capability building support and resources are necessary for recently separated service members and the professionals who serve them," said AFCPE Executive Director, Rebecca Wiggins. "Recognizing this need, the AFCPE developed a new professional online financial wellness tool for Accredited Financial Counselors to use with their clients to deliver comprehensive financial counseling services. This valuable partnership with Visa will enable AFC professionals to provide these services to 1,500 deserving veterans, free of charge." "For over 20 years, Visa has been committed to providing free, high quality personal finance education through our Practical Money Skills for Life program, " said Hugh Norton, Head of U.S. Financial Education, Visa Inc. "We are excited to partner with the AFCPE to help provide veterans with financial counseling and education at no cost to them. Whether veterans are dealing with a specific financial crisis, are working to get out of debt or simply want to develop successful strategies to achieve financial goals, this partnership will enable them to connect with a trained financial professional who can help." The Visa Veterans Financial Outreach Program is a continuation of ongoing efforts by Visa and the AFCPE to assist veterans. Both organizations are members of the Veterans Financial Coalition. A coalition of diverse organizations formed to assist and promote resources to a growing population of veterans, provide financial education for veterans and community organizations serving veterans, and raise awareness for the unique financial challenges our nation's veterans face. More information about the Visa Veterans Financial Outreach Program and other resources for veterans can be found at www.veteransfinancialcoalition.org. Veterans who are interested in taking part in the program and being connected with an AFC professional should contact AFCPE at firstname.lastname@example.org or Visa at email@example.com. About AFCPE ®AFCPE ® ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the gold standard for financial counseling, coaching and education, including the AFC ® (Accredited Financial Counselor ®) certification which is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by CFPB and DoD . AFCPE supports its members by providing career advancement and professional development opportunities, including exceptional financial education trainings, the Journal for Financial Counseling & Planning and an Annual Research & Training Symposium. About Visa Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) 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 electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured 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, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews. About Practical Money Skills for Life Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life is a free, award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. The program was launched in 1995 and is now available in 16 languages in 42 countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans and more. For more information, visit practicalmoneyskills.com, facebook.com/PracticalMoneySkills and @PracticalMoney.