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U.S. Bank Introduces Secure Money Transfer Giving Customers a Safe, Affordable Way to Send Money to Mexico

DENVER, Apr 28, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- U.S. Bank is introducing an international money remittance service specially designed for individuals who wish to send money to their loved ones in Mexico safely and affordably. U.S. Bank Secure Money Transfer will be initially launched in Denver and Sacramento, Calif. starting April 28 and will be introduced throughout the 24 states in which U.S. Bank operates later this year. As part of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, U.S. Bank will offer the first transfer for free throughout May.

U.S. Bank Secure Money Transfer is an ATM card-based service that allows individuals to quickly send up to $1,000 per transfer for as little as $10 each time. The recipient may immediately withdraw funds from any of the 20,000 PLUS Network ATMs in Mexico as soon as the money is loaded on the card. Money can be sent and received 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Senders need not be U.S. Bank checking or savings account holders, although there are added benefits for those who have a U.S. Bank account.

Secure Money Transfer is more affordable than traditional wire services - $10 for U.S. Bank account holders and $15 for non-account holders. Each transfer may be up to $1,000 not to exceed $2,000 over a 30-day period. There are no monthly maintenance fees and each transfer comes with one free ATM transaction, one free balance inquiry and two free customer service calls.

"Secure Money Transfer is one of the most valuable services that we as a financial institution can provide to our friends in the Hispanic community because it meets a very real need," said Alice Perez, U.S. Bank Hispanic market leader. "Knowing that funds will arrive quickly and safely in the hands of family members at an affordable price will be a great relief to many individuals. We're thrilled to offer a service that helps families grow and thrive whether in the United States or in Mexico."

Remittances to Mexico totaled $10.5 billion accounting for almost one-third of all remittances to Latin America in 2002 according to a February 2003 report by the Inter-American Development Bank. The overall remittances to Latin America grew 17.6 percent from 2001 to 2002, reaching more than $32 billion. If current growth rates are maintained, cumulative remittances to Latin America could reach $300 billion for the ten-year period ending in 2010.

Secure Money Transfer is designed to be a safe, fast and easy alternative to existing money transfer services. To initiate a transfer, the sender simply needs to sign-up by visiting a U.S. Bank branch with proper identification (a driver's license, state issued identification or Matricula Consular identification, issued by the Mexican Consulate) and load the funds on the Secure Money Transfer card.

The service is different than other card-based money transfer services because once it's fully implemented, customers may visit any of the 2,200 U.S. Bank branches in 24 states to use the service. Also unlike other services, customers can use cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards and deposits from U.S. Bank checking and savings accounts to load the card. The sender may also set up recurring loads to the card for regular transfers to loved ones. The deposited money is available for immediate withdrawal.

Upon signing-up for Secure Money Transfer, the sender receives a bilingual welcome packet and a card is issued and sent via UPS to the recipient in Mexico in his or her name. The recipient's card typically arrives within seven days. Once established, senders may reload the card in person at a participating U.S. Bank branch. If they are a U.S. Bank deposit or credit account holders, they can establish an automatic recurring transfer from an existing account by calling a U.S. Bank toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual customer service center at 1-888-621-1201.

"Secure Money Transfer is a great addition to the array of services now available to Mexican families. It offers a convenient, safe and reliable way to send money to Mexico. I salute U.S. Bank for taking positive steps to address the needs of its Mexican clientele," said Leticia Calzada, Consul General of Mexico in Denver.

U.S. Bank was among the first in the nation to make advances that directly benefit the Hispanic consumer. In November 2001, U.S. Bank was one of the first financial institutions in America to accept the Matricula Consular as a form of identification when opening an account. Many U.S. Bank locations have bilingual signage, brochures and other material to make the banking experience more inviting to customers who prefer to do business in Spanish. In October 2002, U.S. Bank launched a Spanish-language version of usbank.com with information on banking products and services for Hispanic customers, complete with a branch locator that identifies where customers can find Spanish-speaking tellers and bankers.

U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of $182 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,200 banking offices and 4,582 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.


CONTACT:          U.S. Bank
                  Teri Charest, 612/303-0732

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