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 NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 10, 1993 -- First Commerce Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: FCOM) announced today that it has introduced a Visa check card program in response to consumers' growing demands. The product, Check Card, will be offered to First Commerce's checking account customers immediately, adding to the 13.5 million Visa check cardholders currently in the U.S.
 A convenient replacement to the hassles associated with cash and checks, Check Card, can be used to purchase goods and services at locations by providing cardholders with electronic access to their checking accounts. It works particularly well for everyday purchases that cardholders would traditionally pay for with checks or cash -- groceries and gas, for example -- or for everyday purchases such as restaurant meals, drug store items, dry cleaning, shoe repairs, haircuts and car washes.
 First Commerce has established its card by placing the Visa logo on its proprietary Check Card, adding value to the card by expanding its usage to any of the 10.5 million locations where Visa cards are accepted.
 "We live in an age of convenience. A product such as Check Card removes the need to carry a bulky checkbook and eliminates the time and hassle of writing checks and waiting for approval. Check Card also is safer than carrying cash -- obviously something tailor-made for the modern lifestyle," said Senior Vice President Michael Guidry, manager of First Commerce Corp.'s Bankcard Center.
 First Commerce becomes the first Visa member financial institution to leverage "The New Shape of Checking" materials prepared by Visa to support the launch of check card programs nationwide. In addition, the bank will participate in Visa's nationwide consumer education campaign, which begins next week in New Orleans.
 Why Check Cards?
 For many people, adding more convenience to their lives is an important goal. Check cards, by providing the following advantages, can help consumers take the frenzy out of everyday shopping, according to Guidry.
 Use Check Card to save time and eliminate the hassle at the
 checkout line
 For today's busy shopper every second counts, and no one wants to spend precious time at the checkout line. By eliminating the need to fill out a check, present identification, and wait while a clerk copies identification information onto the check, a check card allows consumers to move quickly through the checkout line, especially when they are in a hurry.
 Increase shopping convenience by using check cards
 For consumers who make frequent shopping trips to department stores and may spend time in shopping malls, carrying large amounts of cash or a checkbook can be an added inconvenience.
 As a replacement for cash and checks, check cards allow consumers to pay as they go -- eliminating the need to use available cash in their wallets, or having to carry cumbersome checkbooks around.
 Heighten your security by leaving cash and checks at home
 Besides offering added convenience they relieve the need for consumers to carry a great deal of cash. And since check card transactions are posted directly to the cardholder's checking account, consumers don't need to reveal any of the personal information that appears on checks.
 How Check Cards Work
 With more than one-half of U.S. households using ATM cards at least once a month, check cards expand usage further by serving as a payment method at all merchant locations. Check card is accepted at all 10.5 million locations that accept Visa worldwide.
 With Visa Check Card, the customer presents the card to the cashier and signs the sales draft in the same way as other Visa cards and receives a receipt. The amount is then deducted from his or her checking account. The transaction will be itemized on the monthly checking account statement for easy record keeping.
 First Commerce Corp. is the $6.5 billion asset banking company headquartered in New Orleans with affiliate financial institutions in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Alexandria and New Orleans.
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Marshall of First Commerce Corp., 504-582-7454; or Roseann Clavelli of Visa, 415-432-3439/

CO: First Commerce Corp.; Visa U.S.A. ST: Louisiana; California IN: FIN SU: PDT

PK -- SF007 -- 2741 11/10/93 12:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993

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