Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. and Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc., announced the signing of a multi-year contract that will allow Illuminet to offer the Western Union SwiftPay service as a payment solution to small and mid-sized wireless carriers.
Illuminet provides a variety of innovative products and services to the telecommunications industry, including pre-paid wireless services. Under the terms of the contract, Illuminet’s carrier customers will offer its subscribers the ability to use the Western Union SwiftPay service and its network of nearly 40,000 agent locations nationwide to recharge their pre-paid wireless accounts. The addition of Western Union will significantly expand the payment networks of these carriers, allowing them to provide a convenient, nationwide pre-paid service.
“The pre-paid wireless market continues to expand dramatically in the United States,” said Joe Jackson, president, Western Union Commercial Services. “Wireless carriers are constantly seeking ways to provide additional value to their customers. That includes offering convenient ways to replenish airtime on pre-paid accounts. With Western Union’s unparalleled agent network, these carriers can be assured that their customers will be able to quickly and easily re-charge their accounts, when and where they need to.”
“We are pleased to offer Western Union’s thousands of replenishment locations coast-to-coast to the many carriers who offer Illuminet’s prepaid wireless services,” said Bob Adamany, Illuminet’s Director of Wireless Services. “Ease of replenishment, especially while roaming, is essential for a successful prepaid offering,” said Adamany.
Illuminet will conduct a gradual roll-out of the SwiftPay pre-payment option, with more than 30 carriers expected to offer the service by end of 2002. The first of these carriers, ALLTEL, has already begun offering SwiftPay to its customers as a pre-payment option. ALLTEL customers simply provide their wireless telephone number and cash payment at any of the nearly 40,000 Western Union agent locations around the country. Payment will be posted to the customer’s account on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes.
About Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and First Data
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. Utilizing the services of Western Union and its subsidiaries, consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at more than 117,000 Agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.westernunion.com] .
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com].
Founded in 1981, Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is a leading provider of advanced nationwide signaling and intelligent network services to the communications industry. Connection to the Illuminet network gives carriers access to the system of signaling networks of nearly the entire U.S. public-switched telecommunications infrastructure through a single source. Illuminet specializes in SS7 network services and intelligent network solutions for services such as calling name delivery, calling card validation, domestic and international wireless roaming, wireless clearing, inter-carrier SMS interoperability, number portability, network usage measurement, Operations Support System (OSS) interconnection, toll-free and other specialized database access functions, including real-time account management for providers of prepaid wireless services. Illuminet’s headquarters are at 4501 Intelco Loop SE, Lacey, WA 98503; (360) 493-6000; [http://www.illuminet.com] .
VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable everyone, everywhere to engage in commerce and communications with confidence. VeriSign’s digital trust services create a trusted environment through three core offerings — name, authentication and payment services — powered by a global infrastructure that manages more than five billion network connections and transactions a day. Additional news and information about the company is available at [http://www.verisign.com] .