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VISA INTERNATIONAL'S HEALTHY GROWTH FOR 1992 REFLECTS INCREASED CONSUMER PREFERENCE

 SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, /PRNewswire/ -- Visa International, the world's leading consumer payment system, today announced its results for the calendar year 1992. During that period, the worldwide card sales volume reached a new level of $457.9 billion, an increase of 15.8 percent versus $395.3 billion in 1991. The number of Visa cards issued rose 9.5 percent to more than 304.3 million, compared to 277.8 million in 1991.
 Visa continued to increase its market share in the worldwide market for all-purpose cards, which represented $880 billion in 1992, from 51.5 percent in 1991 to 52 percent.
 "Visa showed healthy growth during the past year, not an insignificant achievement given the state of the global economy," said Charles T. Russell, president and chief executive officer of Visa International. "Perhaps the most remarkable result in 1992 is our worldwide progress in the debit area. Debit products currently represent 25 percent of our entire sales volume -- and we anticipate that by the end of the decade debit products will account for more than half of that volume."
 In addition to the 1992 record card sales volume, the Visa Travelers Cheque sales volume rose 6.3 percent to $16.8 billion, compared to $15.8 in 1991. The number of card acceptance locations reached 10.4 million by the end of 1992, an increase of 8.3 percent versus 9.6 million in 1991.
 In addition to the record results achieved, Visa International marked a number of important milestones in 1992:
 -- At the beginning of the year, Visa celebrated its 100,000th ATM location worldwide. At the end of 1992, this number had grown to 130,249 ATMs in 60 countries, providing cardholders convenient cash advance and currency convere fully operational. Each SuperCenter has the capacity to process the business volume for the entire, global Visa payment system, thereby assuring a fast and trouble-free service throughout the year.
 -- With the completion of Network 2000, a high-speed, fully digitized telecommunications network linking Visa locations and member sites throughout the world, Visa continues to offer the most cost- effective and reliable global network for consumer financial transactions.
 -- The total number of Visa transactions in 1992 amounted to 5.9 billion, an increase of 13.5 percent over the previous year's 5.2 billion transactions.
 -- With the introduction of the Card Verification Value (CVV) in Asia-Pacific and Europe, Visa could reduce losses due to counterfeit very significantly in those two regions. CVV is a technology to protect cards against counterfeiting; it was pioneered and implemented by Visa exclusively. By April 1993, CVV will be implemented on a worldwide basis.
 "Our goal is to become the consumer's preferred means of payment," said Russell, "and we look to 1993 to be a year in which Visa will make great strides toward achieving this vision. We will continue to put major emphasis on our debit products, and with the implementation of PaymentService 2000 (PS2000) currently under way, we have initiated the process of migrating our payment systems into a fully electronic payment service."
 Visa U.S.A reported a record card sales volume of $190.4 billion, an increase of 11.5 percent. Visa maintained its number one market position in both the credit and debit areas with a total of 149.5 million Visa cards issued, representing a 5.8-percent increase. At year-end, Visa had 53,282 ATM locations in the United States.
 The dynamic Asia-Pacific region reported $45.9 billion in card sales volume, an 18.9-percent increase. The region also increased the total number of cards issued by 13.9 percent, rising to 55.6 million.
 Visa Canada was able to further strengthen its leading market position. The card sales volume grew by 8.1 percent up to $26.7 billion, and the number of cards issued reached 15.7 million, an increase of 6.8 percent.
 The Europe, Middle East and Africa region was once again a very significant contributor to the worldwide success of Visa in 1992. Card sales volume increased 17.8 percent, reaching $176.2 billion. The number of cards issued totaled 67.5 million, an increase of 12.9 percent. The year-end total of Visa ATM locations in this region reached 55,984.
 The Latin America region produced the strongest percentage growth in 1992. The Visa card sales volume was up 61.2 percent to $18.7 billion. The number of cards issued grew by 22 percent and reached 16.1 million.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment system in the world with more than 10 million acceptance locations, 304 million cards issued and the leading global ATM network.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Hennig of Visa International, 415-358-2435/


CO: Visa International ST: California IN: N? SU:

TM-GT -- SF003 -- 2918 03/04/93 11:04 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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