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VISA REINFORCES STRONG DEBIT LEAD WITH 14 TIMES THE NUMBER OF CARDS OF NEAREST COMPETITOR

 VISA REINFORCES STRONG DEBIT LEAD WITH
 14 TIMES THE NUMBER OF CARDS OF NEAREST COMPETITOR
 SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa U.S.A. strengthened its leadership position in the emerging debit card market, posting a 22 percent increase in Visa Debit cardholders to more than 10.5 million in the second quarter of 1992. Visa Debit card growth is an integral part of the company's goal of replacing cash and checks, which account for more than 80 percent of consumer payments.
 "We expect our Visa Debit card growth to exceed 20 percent annually for the next several years," said Wesley C. Tallman, executive vice president of consumer products for Visa U.S.A. "There is little question that the time is right for this important product."
 With more than 23 million debit cards in the United States between its two products, Visa leads the debit industry with 14 times more cards than its nearest competitor, MasterCard. Visa estimates it will have 100 million debit cards in the United States by 1996.
 Visa offers two distinct debit products in the United States-- the Visa Debit card, which allows cardholders to have their transactions authorized off-line at any locations that accepts Visa worldwide, and Interlink, the world's largest point-of-sale direct-debit program which provides on-line authorization at locations accepting Interlink, such as supermarkets, gas stations and convenience stores.
 Visa Debit is currently offered by more than 800 financial institutions nationwide. Much of the current growth, however, can be attributed to the addition of new card issuers such as Oregon-based U.S. Bank and UJB Financial Corp., as well as the expanding debit programs of other issuers such as American Savings, Banc One, Chase Manhattan Bank, Colorado National Bank, Michigan National Bank and NationsBank.
 "As a new issuer of Visa Debit we are convinced that this is the product our customers want to use as a cash and check replacement," said Carl R. Osterlof, vice president of EFT Products for UJB Financial Corp. "Worldwide acceptance at more than 10 million locations, coupled with the Visa brand is a benefit our customers can't match."
 Visa, with more than 10 million acceptance locations, has 287 million debit and credit cards issued, including 143 million in the U.S. It is the leading ATM network globally and the largest consumer card payment card system in the world.
 -0- 8/26/92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/ CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: IN: FIN SU:


RM -- SF001 -- 3379 08/26/92 10:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1992
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