Company News

Walmart to Pay Associates Via Debit Card

Electronic program with MasterCard, First Data reduces use of paper paychecks
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Walmart, MasterCard Worldwide and First Data have announced a new, more sustainable payroll program designed to reduce the number of paper paychecks and pay stubs distributed each year to U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club associates. In order to benefit both associates and the environment, the electronic pay program will include the deployment of the Money Network MasterCard Paycard and electronic pay stubs, which will cut down on paper consumption and provide associates easier access to their wages.

"Electronic payroll is the right choice for our associates, [image-nocss] our company and the environment," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice-president and CFO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "It provides our associates with fast, convenient and safe access to their pay. The program's ability to reduce paper usage is right in line with Walmart's commitment to eliminate waste wherever we can."

Walmart associates may receive their pay either by direct deposit or through the First Data Money Network program and may access their wages through the Money Network MasterCard Paycard or Money Network Checks. The program will provide a more flexible way for associates to get immediate access to their full wages on payday even during natural disasters such as blizzards, hurricanes and floods. Associates will not need to come in on their day off or while on vacation to receive their pay, and they will have the convenience of receiving cash fee-free at any Walmart or Sam's Club register. The program will be introduced to all U.S. associates in September.

"We have worked closely with Walmart and First Data to develop a customized program that will simplify the payroll process and support environmental sustainability," said Chris McWilton, president of U.S. markets for MasterCard Worldwide. "We are excited that we are able to support Walmart's vision for truly responsible and sustainable business operations by providing Walmart and Sam's Club associates with the benefits of immediacy, security, simplicity and efficiency offered by paperless wages."

MasterCard will be the exclusive brand for the card, which can be used anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted, including ATMs.

First Data will provide the processing and reload network for the program as part of First Data's Money Network Payroll Distribution Service.

"Walmart is raising the bar for employers everywhere by providing associates who don't have bank accounts with immediate access to funds on payday, without fee or discount, and access to cash at thousands of locations across the country," said Ed Labry, president of retail and alliance services for First Data. "Associates may also write Money Network Checks payable to themselves or use them to pay bills, just like any other check." Associate funds in the Money Network program are FDIC-insured.

Wal-Mart Stores serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,000 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide.

As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year and provides analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.

First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries. First Data's Money Network Payroll Distribution Service delivers the benefits of paperless pay, while at the same time reducing administrative costs for employers.

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