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VISA LEADS THE COMPETITION WITH 58 PERCENT OF SUPERMARKET BANKCARD SALES VOLUME

 VISA LEADS THE COMPETITION WITH 58 PERCENT
 OF SUPERMARKET BANKCARD SALES VOLUME
 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As the nation's supermarkets continue to initiate bankcard programs as a customer convenience in their stores, Visa U.S.A. announced today that its penetration in the supermarket industry accounts for 80 percent of the nation's top 50 supermarket chains, a 134 percent increase over last year's figures. Nationwide, there are more than 7,000 stores that accept Visa cards at checkout.
 Visa also reported that its supermarket sales volume for the first six months of 1992 rose to $765 million, representing 58 percent of the bankcard market. Last month alone, Visa sales in supermarkets exceeded $150 million, a 140 percent jump over last year's figures for the same month.
 "Visa is continuously voted number one among consumers, so it does not surprise us that the surge of momentum is on Visa's side," said Armen Khachadourian, vice president of merchant relations for Visa U.S.A. "We expect this progress to continue as more and more supermarkets and consumers realize the benefits that Visa offers," he said.
 Visa expects its supermarket volume to reach $1.7 billion for the entire year, compared with $981 million in 1991.
 Visa's supermarket program was introduced in April 1991 to encourage acceptance of Visa cards at checkout. The program -- which represents the most comprehensive program and the first of its kind in the industry -- features a cooperative marketing package, including special advertising and promotion to support a supermarket's card program.
 Visa's leadership position in the marketplace was recently supported by a study of 6,000 shoppers which found that 67 percent were aware that their supermarkets accepted Visa as a payment option, compared to 43 percent for MasterCard.
 In related findings, the study showed that 50 percent of consumers who use their Visa cards in supermarkets said that convenience was the no. 1 reason for use. Moreover, 45 percent of respondents who use Visa in the supermarket said that they made a decision on where to shop based upon whether the store accepts Visa.
 "There's no question that convenience is critical among today's consumers," added Mr. Khachadourian. "Consumers are doing a good job using credit cards for groceries. Ninety-five percent of Visa cardholders use their cards in a responsible manner and to their advantage. In fact, the majority of people who use cards for groceries pay their balances in full and pay no interest," he said.
 Mr. Khachadourian also said the benefits of accepting Visa explain why more and more stores are now offering this payment option. He explained that, aside from greater customer service, acceptance of Visa provides significant cost benefits in the form of guaranteed payment, reduction in the cost of handling checks and cash, and saving time at checkout. He also noted that, on average, credit card purchases are 9 percent higher than check transactions.
 Visa, with more than 10 million acceptance locations and 286 million cards issued, including 143 million in the United States, is the world's largest consumer card payment system. Visa also has the leading ATM network globally.
 -0- 9/17/92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/


CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO

TM -- SF001 -- 0620 09/17/92 11:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 17, 1992
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