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FIRST UNION LAUNCHES INTERLINK PROGRAM; FIRST NATIONAL BANK TO LAUNCH OUTSIDE THE ORIGINAL FIVE WESTERN STATES

 FIRST UNION LAUNCHES INTERLINK PROGRAM; FIRST NATIONAL BANK
 TO LAUNCH OUTSIDE THE ORIGINAL FIVE WESTERN STATES
 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Interlink Network announced today that First Union National Bank will begin issuing cards with the Interlink logo next month. First Union, which currently has 1.7 million automated teller machine (ATM) cards in circulation, will convert all of those cards to Interlink, making them good for purchases at all merchants accepting the Interlink logo. First Union, headquartered in North Carolina, is one of the top ten banks ranked by an ATM cardholder base.
 "We are excited about introducing the Interlink program to all of our cardholders and believe that our customers will find it a valuable and timely service," said Alvin T. Sale, executive vice president of First Union National Bank. "The utility and value added to our ATM cards is unquestioned. We are please to be associated with this proven, well-established program and anticipate growing our card base to between two to three million cards in the next five years."
 "We are pleased to have a bank of this size and prestige be the first to launch an Interlink program of this magnitude outside the five original Interlink states," said Wesley C. Tallman, president and chief executive officer of Interlink Network. "With the tremendous momentum and growth Interlink has experienced in the last few months, we expect many more announcements of this type in the months ahead."
 First Union Corporation has assets of $47.7 billion and operates 990 banking offices in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, one banking office in Tennessee, and 201 nonbanking offices in 36 states.
 Interlink currently has more than 347 financial institutions committed to the program and processes more than half of all direct- debit, point-of-sale transactions conducted in the United States. The network processed more than 100 million transactions last year, generating $2.5 billion in sales, and currently has more than 12.5 million Interlink cardholders.
 Following its acquisition of Interlink in the fall of 1991, Visa U.S.A. expanded the program, which had been operational in five western states, nationwide, launching the world's largest on-line, direct-debit program months ahead of the competition. Interlink is a subsidiary of Visa U.S.A.
 In addition to Interlink, Visa offers a second debit products, the Visa Debit card, which allows cardholders to have their transactions authorized off-line at any location that accepts Visa worldwide.
 With more than 23 million debit cards in the U.S. between its two products, Visa leads the debit industry with 12 times more cards than its nearest competitor, MasterCard, Visa estimates it will have 100 million debit cards in the U.S. by 1996.
 -0- 9-14-92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/ CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU: PDT


KF-GT -- SF004 -- 9043 09/14/92 10:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
Words:479
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