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VISA: RETAIL MERCHANTS GEAR UP FOR DEBUT OF CUSTOMIZED PAYMENT PROCESSING SERVICE

 SAN FRANCISCO March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one million retail merchants across the country are now gearing up to implement PaymentService 2000, a Visa strategic initiative designed to reduce the costs associated with handling Visa card transactions.
 "PaymentService 2000 will create a new era of sophisticated electronic processing that will flawlessly enable merchants, banks and the VisaNet system to track individual transactions with more clarity, timeliness and ease -- and at a significantly lower cost," said Rosalind Fisher, executive vice president of Delivery Systems for Visa U.S.A.
 Technology-derived benefits, according to Fisher, include a dramatic reduction in the costs associated with handling chargebacks, processing requests for copy, responding to customer inquiries, and resolving disputes. "In fact," she said, "PaymentService 2000 should virtually eliminate all chargebacks, except for those initiated by customer disputes. This underscores our commitment to merchants that the Visa card means guaranteed payment."
 With the active participation of retail merchants who are currently modifying their own point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software, Visa will begin assigning a unique PaymentService 2000 "life-cycle" transaction identifier to each authorization request, beginning April 1. This identification code remains with the transaction through the settlement process, then it is stored at Visa for future use, as needed.
 Transaction identifiers assist Visa financial institutions in detecting invalid chargebacks before they are sent to merchants, and the central VisaNet system determines whether a chargeback right exists for a given transaction and notifies the issuer in the clearing process. Should an invalid chargeback be submitted, VisaNet will reject it immediately by using the transaction identifier to retrieve the appropriate transaction information.
 In addition to reducing chargebacks, and thus eliminating potential problems for both merchants and customers, PaymentService 2000 gives card-issuing banks improved open-to-buy management. This, in turn, increases approvals of more Visa transactions and enhances customer service at the point-of-sale. "Better open-to-buy management assures cardholders have full access to their line of credit," added Fisher.
 She continued, "PaymentService 2000 creates a win-win-win situation for: Visa cardholders, merchants and member banks. Our strategic vision, coupled with our superior technology, reinforces the Visa position as the preferred consumer payment system."
 Fisher concluded, "Visa is rolling out PaymentService 2000 throughout the United States so that, in the future, virtually all Visa transactions will be processed using the 'life-cycle' methodology." Currently Visa is working with its members to collectively define and develop customized PaymentService 2000 programs for additional industry segments that will be implemented in 1994. These merchant segments include airlines, hotels, auto rental agencies, and direct marketers. Visa is formulating implementation plans for PaymentService 2000 in markets outside the United States.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment card system in the world with more than 10 million acceptance locations and 296 million cards issued worldwide, including 146 million in the United States. Visa also has the leading global ATM network.
 -0- 3/11/93
 /CONTACT: Albert Coscia of Visa, 415-570-2039/


CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU:

SG -- SF004 -- 4952 03/11/93 08:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1993
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