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BT WIDENS CASHLESS CALLING OPTIONS -- PAYMENT FOR CALLS BY VISA CARDS

BT WIDENS CASHLESS CALLING OPTIONS -- PAYMENT FOR CALLS BY VISA CARDS
 NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- BT(TM) (NYSE: BTY, BTY.PP) and Visa International announced from London that more than 280 million Visa cards could soon be used to pay for calls from BT telephones in the United Kingdom. In addition, cardholders will be able to use their Visa cards to phone the United Kingdom from abroad using UK Direct service (see Note to Editors below).
 Under the arrangement, BT and Visa will extend the VisaPhone service -- which is currently available in the United States -- to the United Kingdom by early 1993. This means that the United Kingdom, which currently has 28 million Visa cardholders, will be the first European country to enroll in the service.
 The service will appeal particularly to visitors to the United Kingdom, who will not need a BT telephone account as the cost of the calls will be billed to their Visa card in their local currency.
 The new facility will complement BT's own Chargecard, and will use the same calling method. Users will dial 144 in the United Kingdom or, when abroad, special free phone numbers from over 60 countries.
 For security, callers will have to provide their card number plus a telecode -- a four-digit personal identification number (PIN). This number will be used for making telephone calls only and will be different from the PIN used for cash dispensers.
 Tony Vardy, BT's director of service development, said, "Cashless calling is becoming vital to our customers in the United Kingdom and to travelers all over the world. At BT we strive to ensure that everyone who needs to use our network, and that includes every visitor to this country, is given the best service and the most convenient method of payment.
 "With VisaPhone, which complements our existing Chargecard services -- plus our facilities for using commercial credit cards and pre-paid Phonecards at selected payphones -- BT will offer customers the most flexible range of telephone card services in Europe."
 BT is a leader in worldwide telecommunications and operates one of the largest networks in a world offering a wide range of international services. BT has annual revenues over $23 billion and employs a staff of approximately 216,000 in over 30 countries.
 -0- 5/7/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Using BT's UK Direct service, customers abroad can dial the United Kingdom from over 60 countries and have the cost of the calls billed at a later date to their home or office account. By dialing a free access number they can speak directly to a BT international operator to overcome any language and currency problems./
 /CONTACT: Linda Medley in New York, 212-297-2662, or Martin O'Connor in the U.K., 011-44-71-356-5366, both of BT; or Joanne Henderson of Visa International in the U.K., 011-44-71-937-8111/
 (BTY) CO: BT North America Inc.; Visa International ST: New York IN: TLS SU: PDT


GK-TQ -- NY081 -- 7718 05/07/92 14:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 7, 1992
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