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New Mastercard Survey Measures Online Purchasing Activity of Small Businesses.

Business Editors

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 10, 2001

The Small Business Tracking Survey, a new bi-annual survey sponsored by MasterCard International to analyze e-commerce trends affecting small businesses, found that 50 percent of small and home-based organizations (SOHOs) participate in online purchasing, spending approximately $45 billion annually.

According to the survey, many SOHOs also are using the Internet as a sales channel, generating online sales of approximately $56 billion.

Additionally, the survey projects online purchasing among SOHOs will rise 16 percent over the next six months. The number of SOHOs selling online is expected to grow 82 percent during the same period.

The survey examines how small business decision makers perceive the Internet is affecting their business and evaluates how small and home offices are using the Internet for online commerce, e-mail and information gathering. MasterCard will use the data from the survey to tailor and develop its small business programs. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employers in the United States and generate more than half of the national gross domestic product.

Among the key findings, the MasterCard Small Business Tracking Survey found that the products and services most frequently purchased online by SOHOs are office supplies (52 percent); software (51 percent); books and publications (48 percent); business equipment (46 percent); and travel services (45 percent).

Some Key Findings:
-- Eighty-one percent of SOHOs have Internet access.

-- Fifty-one percent of SOHOs with Internet access have websites.

-- SOHOs spend approximately $700 per month on online purchases.

-- Eighty-eight percent of SOHOs use payment cards, such as a credit, debit or
purchasing card for online purchases.


"MasterCard recognizes that small businesses are a significant component of the backbone of the U.S. economy," said Steve Abrams, senior vice president, MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions. "The MasterCard Small Business Tracking Survey provides a benchmark for measuring the evolving profile of small businesses and home-based organizations, as well as the vendors they work with. The Survey will enable MasterCard to continue to develop solutions to help small businesses succeed and compete effectively."

The results of the MasterCard Small Business Tracking Survey will be released bi-annually in the spring and fall of each year. The survey uses information from a panel of more than 5,000 SOHO business owners and operators. Key findings of the first survey are available by visiting the MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions website at http://www.mastercardintl.com/business/corporate/. Key findings of future survey results, which will be made available beginning in late 2001, will also be retrievable at the website.

MasterCard Small Business Programs

Additional MasterCard programs for small businesses include:

-- MasterCard Business Bonuses(TM) Program - MasterCard set the

industry standard in 2000 by allowing small business MasterCard

cardholders to earn frequent flyer miles that could be applied

toward any airline, with no blackout periods. In 2001, the program

became one of the most expansive rewards programs in the industry,

enabling small business cardholders to earn points for every

dollar spent on their MasterCard cards. The points, in return, are

redeemable for a MasterCard Bonus Card that can be used for goods

and services at any location where MasterCard is accepted -- at

more than 21 million locations worldwide. -- MasterCard Smart Data OnLine(TM)(SDOL) - This web-based tool

assists a small business in organizing, consolidating, analyzing

and managing financial data through the Internet. Accessed through

a web browser in real time, MasterCard SDOL creates improved

efficiencies in reconciling expenses and eliminating

time-consuming paperwork. SDOL is available in 10 different

languages. -- MasterCard Business Savings(TM)- On behalf of small businesses,

MasterCard has negotiated savings up to 40 percent on key goods

and services in categories including, legal, personnel, financial,

office supplies, business travel, technology, communications,

marketing, public relations and business planning. -- MasterCard Small Business Connections(TM) - An Internet gateway

for managing expenses; gathering marketplace news and information;

accessing better buying opportunities on technology solutions for

marketing, sales, e-commerce and more (visit

www.mastercard.com/smallbiz). -- MasterCard MarketAccess(TM) - A marketplace where small business

cardholders buy and sell goods and services online. MarketAccess

provides a secure, one-stop shopping resource for small businesses

by introducing offers from a growing list of suppliers, including

barnesandnoble.com Business Solution, Egghead.com, HR One,

OfficeMax, Paper Direct, PC Flowers and Gifts, Sprint and Tiger

Direct. -- MasterCard also offers small businesses the MasterCard

BusinessCard(R) Card, the MasterCard Executive BusinessCard

Card(R) and the MasterCard BusinessCard(R) debit card.

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard's award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 81 countries and in more than 36 languages, giving the MasterCard brand reach and scope unrivaled by any competitor in the industry. With more than 21 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 2000, gross dollar volume exceeded US$857 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.mastercard.com.
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Date:Jul 10, 2001
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