Visa Inc. and Better ATM Services today announced the ability to dispense Visa Gift cards in addition to cash at ATMs.
According to a joint press release, an in-market pilot program is currently underway offering Visa Gift cards at walk-up and drive-through ATMs in select locations throughout Arizona. Credit Union West, MariSol Federal Credit Union and Pinal County Federal Credit Union are participating in the first pilot programs and have already begun offering their members the gift cards.
"Our focus is on delivering value and convenience to our members who regularly purchase gift cards for special occasions," said Robert W. MacGregor, president and chief executive officer of Credit Union West. "We're seeing gift cards become more popular as a way to give family and friends the opportunity to choose a gift they really want or need. Our relationship with Better ATM Services®and Visa is a terrific way to meet our customer's needs, while increasing our line of value driven products and services."
With this introduction, ATM menu screens now include a "Purchase Visa Gift Card" option and prompt to designate the value to load on each card. Cards are available with no activation fee in $25 denominations during the pilot. The new ATM-dispensed Visa Gift card is made of a thinner material, which allows cards to pass through the cash mechanisms of ATMs.
"When ATMs were first introduced in the 1970s, consumers began a love affair with the very best in time and place convenient banking services and today we continue to expand those benefits through new innovations. We are working with ATM manufacturers, independent sales organizations, and financial institutions to make ATM-dispensed gift cards a common offering at ATMs throughout the country," said Better ATM Services CEO Todd L. Nuttall.
According to Visa's recent gift giving survey, 85 percent of U.S. consumers would appreciate receiving a branded gift card. More than eight in 10 consumers planned to give friends and family gift cards over the holiday shopping season, according to a survey by BIGresearch and the National Retail Federation. The study showed that gift cards are the most requested holiday gift - the fifth year in a row they have topped the list.
"Our participation in this pilot with Better ATM Services and three Arizona credit unions is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting prepaid innovation and expanding access to Visa prepaid products; delivering value to our financial institution clients, consumers and merchants," said Hyung Choi, head of U.S. Prepaid, Visa Inc.