MasterCard Worldwide’s recent referral agreement with the MoneyPass ATM Network opens access to more than 19,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the United States and Puerto Rico for participating issuers of MasterCard debit cards, MoneyPass announced on Oct. 29.

The agreement between the two companies will apply to both card issuers and ATM acquirers, which include banks, credit unions and independent sales organizations, according to MoneyPass.

Participants in MoneyPass, which is owned by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, deploy their ATMs in banks, credit unions and retail locations. The network also offers consumers an online ATM-locator service and an ATM-locator application for the Apple Inc. iPhone.

The MoneyPass agreement is the second collaboration MasterCard has made with a surcharge-free ATM network within the past month. The global card brand on Oct. 1 announced a partnership with Cardtronics Inc.’s Allpoint Network to enable participating issuers to offer surcharge-free ATM access to holders of their prepaid MasterCards (see story). 

The addition of the MoneyPass network is especially beneficial to cardholders of participating smaller banks and financial institutions, Doug Miraglia, MoneyPass president, tells PaymentsSource. Smaller financial institutions “can now compete on equal footing with their largest competitors,” he adds.

The agreement also comes when many consumers are watching their finances and prefer to use cash instead of credit cards. Consumers also use “their debit cards on a frequent basis, whether at the point of sale or at an ATM,” Miraglia notes.

“Consumers save money because they do not have to pay a nearly $3 surcharge fee, so it’s definitely a winning situation for consumers,” he says.

More than 1,200 financial institutions that issue a combined 40 million active cards participate in MoneyPass.

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