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U.S. SALES OF VISA TRAVELERS CHEQUES INCREASE DESPITE GLOBAL MARKET DECREASES

 U.S. SALES OF VISA TRAVELERS CHEQUES INCREASE
 DESPITE GLOBAL MARKET DECREASES
 SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Showing impressive resiliency in a declining market, Visa Travelers Cheques sales increased worldwide to $15.8 billion in 1991, representing a 15.3 percent increase over the 1990 figures, which totalled $13.7 billion.
 "The increase in all five Visa regions was remarkable in a market that declined between four and five percent due to the combined effects of the Gulf War and a global recession," said Thomas J. Gallagher, vice president of Visa's International Travelers Cheque Group. "While the travelers cheque global market dropped from $58.1 billion in 1990, to approximately $56 billion in 1991, Visa Travelers Cheque sales volume grew in 1991 by $2.1 billion over the previous year," he noted.
 The United States saw its sales grow 24 percent in 1991 to total sales of $3.9 billion in Visa Travelers Cheques, as compared to $3.2 billion in 1990.
 "We are very pleased with the remarkable growth we've seen in the United States, the most competitive of all markets and one where the recession has been felt most acutely," said Gallagher. "Clearly, our growth is coming at the expense of other brands, primarily American Express," noted Gallagher.
 Visa's Europe, Middle East, Africa of $4.2 billion in Visa Travelers Cheques.
 The Asia-Pacific region followed closely with sales of $4.7 billion, an increase of eight percent over 1990's figures, which reached $4.3 billion.
 Visa's Latin America region reached $495 million, up an impressive 33 percent. Latin America represents a significant potential growth market for Visa Travelers Cheques, where sales in 1990 totalled $371 million.
 Visa Travelers Cheques sales in Canada reached $1.7 billion in 1991, an increase of eight percent over 1990's total of $1.6 billion.
 "Visa continues to carve out larger shares of the market each year," commented Tom Gallagher, "since more and more banks worldwide are coming to recognize the value of putting all of their payment products under the single Visa umbrella."
 "We believe that the 1992 travelers cheque market will rebound to 1990 levels," continued Gallagher, "fueled by a rebounding global economy and greater consumer confidence. And we further believe Visa Travelers Cheques will continue their remarkable growth -- and continue to capture market share," Gallagher concluded.
 The Visa Travellers Cheques brand, introduced 12 years ago, has been the fastest growing brand in the world and is the number one selling travelers cheque in the world outside the United States. Visa Travelers Cheques has the largest refund network in the industry with over 350,000 locations (branches and offices of Visa member financial institutions and other sales agents) dedicated to providing refund services.
 Visa, with more than 281 million cards in circulation and more than 9.5 million acceptance locations worldwide, is the largest consumer payments system.
 -0- 3/10/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Sherman of Visa International, 415-570-3923/ CO: Visa International ST: California IN: FIN SU:


RF -- SF001 -- 6816 03/10/92 11:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1992
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