Safeway Launches a Safe and Convenient Way to Cash IRS Refund Checks

Safeway Launches a Safe and Convenient Way to Cash IRS Refund Checks

Tax Refund Checks up to $1,499 May Now be Cashed at Neighborhood Stores as Part of Safeway’s Customer Service Centers


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Pleasanton, Calif.,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 1, 2004–Safeway Inc. today announced an enhancement to its payroll check cashing service enabling customers to cash tax refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) up to $1,499.00 at their neighborhood Safeway stores, including Safeway, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak ‘n Save, Vons and Pavilions, located throughout the U.S. The IRS check cashing program is one of many services the stores are offering at their Customer Service centers.

“The launch of Safeway’s new IRS refund check cashing program is in direct response to the needs of our customers. They want convenient access to an array of financial services including the ability to cash payroll and IRS checks,” said Brian Dowling, Safeway spokesperson. “With the IRS Refund Check Cashing Service, we are able to offer a cost-efficient, quality service to our customers.”

With other products from Safeway Customer Service centers, consumers can immediately use their refunds for money orders, money transfers or prepaid debit cards.

According to a study released in November 2003 by the Pew Hispanic Center (PHC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, approximately six million immigrants from Latin America send money (totaling about $30 billion annually) home on a regular basis. An earlier PHC study found that 35 percent of Hispanic people did not have a bank account. For these individuals, Safeway’s new IRS refund check cashing program, combined with other products from Safeway Customer Service centers, facilitates immediate use of refunds for money orders, money transfers or prepaid debit cards, and does not require a bank account.

The Hispanic population is an important part of Safeway’s customer base, Dowling explained, adding that there are many reasons that this population remains unaffiliated with banking institutions including concerns about potential language and privacy issues.

“Safeway check cashing services provide an excellent option for these under-serviced individuals and families,” said Dowling. “Our customers can now access important financial services in their neighborhood grocery store – where they know the people, share the language and cashing a check no longer requires a special trip.”

To cash checks, customers simply go to any Safeway customer service desk with their check and present identification information which Safeway keeps completely confidential. Once approved, the customer receives cash immediately. In addition, customers can use the cash for money orders, money transfers, and pre-paid debit MasterCard cards that are also available as part of Safeway’s Customer Service centers.

Safeway

Safeway Inc. is one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. As of the end of 2003, the company operated 1,817 stores in the Western, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain, Mid-Western, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and in western Canada. In support of its stores, Safeway has an extensive network of distribution, manufacturing and food processing facilities. Safeway also holds a 49% interest in Casa Ley, S.A. de C.V., a retailer in food and general merchandise retailer in western Mexico.

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CONTACT:

Smith Public Relations

Deborah Kazenelson-Deane

818-788-1679

Safeway Launches a Safe and Convenient Way to Cash IRS Refund Checks