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VISA IS NOT ENTITLED TO STOP CREDIT UNION'S NEW 'MONEYPLUS' CARD

VISA IS NOT ENTITLED TO STOP CREDIT UNION'S NEW 'MONEYPLUS' CARD
 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Steven S. Davis of the firm of Armato, Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein on behalf of Eastern Financial Federal Credit Union:
 The Federal Court of Appeals in California has confirmed that Visa is not entitled to prevent Miami-based Eastern Financial Federal Credit Union from continuing to issue its new MONEYPLUS debit card pending the conclusion of the case. Visa claims in the case that the name MONEYPLUS is confusing holders of the card into believing the MONEYPLUS card is compatible with Visa's "Plus System" automated teller machine (ATM) network. Eastern Financial's electronic banking cards such as MONEYPLUS work on the CIRRUS and other ATM networks, but not on Visa's Plus System network.
 The MONEYPLUS card is a point-of-sale debiting card, as well as an ATM card, now being offered to members of Eastern Financial. The MONEYPLUS card is accepted by all financial institutions and merchants which accept MasterCard.
 According to the Court of Appeals, Visa's claim lacks merit because the MONEYPLUS card and the Plus System logo do not appear at all similar and because Visa has no evidence that anyone has actually been confused.
 "Eastern Financial is extremely excited about its MONEYPLUS service which enables members to make purchases from over 8 million merchants worldwide without using cash, a check or credit card," stated Eastern Financial's president, Don Hersman. "We simply can't conceive how Eastern Financial's MONEYPLUS debit card would cause anyone to confuse our card with Visa. The courts appear to share our view," Hersman continued.
 "We are gratified by the courts' continuing support of our position. We are confident that we will continue to prevail against Visa's unjust attempt to trample on our right to use our MONEYPLUS name," added Eastern Financial's Director of Legal Services Tony Figlio. "MONEYPLUS is a key component of the state-of-the-art electronic banking services that we are pleased to be making available to our members."
 The suit was filed in the Los Angeles Federal Court. Eastern Financial has filed a motion to have the case thrown out of court. The motion will be heard on Sept. 21, 1992. Eastern Financial is represented by Steven S. Davis of the Los Angeles firm of Armato, Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein.
 -0- 8/31/92
 /CONTACT: Steven S. Davis of Armato, Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein, 310-553-6666, for Eastern Financial Credit Union/ CO: Eastern Financial Federal Credit Union; Visa ST: California, Florida IN: FIN SU:


JB-JL -- LA005 -- 4813 08/31/92 09:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1992
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