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VISA AND FIRST DATA RESOURCES TEAM UP TO PROMOTE DEBIT CARD ISSUANCE

 SAN FRANCISCO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa U.S.A., today announced a strategic alliance with First Data Resources (FDR) to enhance marketing and operational support for Visa Debit Card issuers. The partnership enables existing Visa Debit Card issuers to broaden their programs, while providing new issuers with a "quick start" program -- allowing easy entry into the debit card market.
 "Debit cards have moved into the forefront as the new generation of electronic consumer payment," said Rosalind Fisher, executive vice president, Visa U.S.A. "Currently, Visa leads the debit industry with more than 12 million Visa Debit and 18.5 million Interlink cardholders. This strategic initiative reinforces the Visa commitment to assist our member financial institutions in providing a debit alternative to their deposit customers."
 First Data Resources, the world's largest third-party provider of transaction card processing and related card-based services, recently formed a new Cardholder Debit Card Services business unit to focus solely on the emerging debit processing market. According to Margaret Lehning, senior vice president, First Data Resources, who leads the new unit, "The growth of debit card use in the past few years has been explosive. We formed this new unit to take advantage of the opportunity to establish our customers and ourselves on the leading edge of the debit market."
 This synergistic partnership, the first of its kind in the industry, will enable Visa and First Data Resources to deliver a comprehensive and cost-competitive program to new and existing debit card issuers. The alliance provides current FDR customers with proven, turn-key Visa marketing programs that focus on card issuance, activation and usage. Additionally, FDR will supply customers with cost-effective, high- quality operational support. "Visa Debit marketing programs have boosted activation and usage rates anywhere from 10 to 30 percent" said Fisher. "We are excited at the opportunity of providing Visa members with programs that combine our marketing and delivery systems expertise with the superior processing capabilities of First Data Resources," she added.
 Financial institutions looking to enter the debit card arena will find the "quick start" program very attractive as it minimizes the cost of market entry by waiving some of FDR's customary set-up fees.
 With more than 800 financial institutions currently issuing Visa Debit cards and nearly 350 financial institutions committed to issuing Interlink cards, Visa is clearly the debit leader. Similarly, FDR enjoys a strong leadership position in the card processing market, counting more than 1,200 Visa member financial institutions among their customers. Thanks to their partnership, participants will enjoy full debit functionality at the most competitive price(s) -- all supported by joint Visa/FDR training and consultative services. The companies are also planning to sponsor user conferences to promote this program to their mutual customers.
 Roger Peirce, executive vice president, Visa International stated, "American Express' divestiture of ownership of First Data Corporation, (FDR's parent company) enables Visa and FDR to work more closely in providing superior levels of service and support to our common customers." He continued, "The combination of Visa's and FDR's experience and industry leadership in payment processing provides a solid infrastructure for facilitating debit issuance and processing."
 FDR Cardholder Services Group President, Aldo Tesi, pointed out, "This partnership comes at a perfect time. The debit industry is soaring and will continue to experience exponential growth over the next several years." He added, "Debit card issuance will provide a key value-added service that enables financial institutions to strengthen relationships with their customers."
 FDR is a business unit of First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC). FDC is a provider of high-quality, high-volume information processing and related services to the credit card, consumer funds transfer, telemarketing/teleservices, health care, mutual fund, receivables management and cable television industries. In 1992, FDC had revenues of $1.2 billion and net income of $141 million.
 Visa is the leading consumer payment system in the world with more than 10 million acceptance locations, the largest global ATM network and 304 million cards issued, including 149 million in the United States.
 -0- 6/7/93
 /CONTACT: Albert Coscia of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-2039, or Adrianne Geppert of First Data Resources, 402-222-7435/
 (FDC)


CO: Visa U.S.A.; First Data Resources ST: California IN: FIN SU: JVN

TM -- NY014 -- 5887 06/07/93 09:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 7, 1993
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