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VISA U.S.A.: TARGET BECOMES FIRST NATIONAL DISCOUNTER TO TRY ON-LINE DEBIT -- SELECTS INTERLINK NETWORK

 SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Interlink Network announced today that Target Stores is the first leading national discounter to pilot a major on-line debit card program. Target, with 506 stores nationwide, is currently testing the acceptance of Interlink cards as a payment option in 12 of its California stores.
 Interlink Network, a subsidiary of Visa U.S.A., is the world's largest on-line, direct-debit program. Recently, Interlink reported a 28-percent rise in the number of cardholders to 16 million from June 1992. Consumers carrying Interlink cards can use them to make purchases wherever the interlink logo is displayed, with the transaction amounts deducted from their checking accounts.
 "Debit cards have moved into the forefront as the new generation of consumer payments," said Peter J. Liupakka, manager of cash and credit for Target Stores. "In selecting an on-line debit program, we choose Interlink because it is a well-established system with seven years of experience. As the debit leader responsible for moving the market forward, Interlink has a proven track record with retailers as well as cardholders who are knowledgeable about the system."
 According to Debra B. Rossi, senior vice president for merchant card services at Wells Fargo Bank, which is providing the Interlink services to Target, merchant interest in implementing debit programs is building quickly.
 "Target illustrates the magnitude of enthusiasm we are seeking from merchants who consider Interlink an excellent way to provide their customers with greater payment options," Rossi said. "These merchants are discovering that consumer demand for cash and check alternatives is rising fast and that the time to implement a debit program is now. Wells Fargo is committed to helping merchants implement successful Interlink programs and to capitalize on the network's strength in the market."
 "Target marks the beginning of a trend where merchants are turning to Interlink as the best choice for a direct-debit program," said Wesley C. Tallman, president and chief executive officer of Interlink Network. "With the number of consumers carrying Interlink cards increasing rapidly, we expect the pace that merchants implement Interlink programs to accelerate at a similar rate."
 Minneapolis-based Target Stores, a division of Dayton Hudson Corp. (NYSE: DH), operates 506 stores in 32 states.
 Wells Fargo and Co. (NYSE: WFC) is the eighth largest bank holding company in the United States based on assets of $52.3 billion at Sept. 30, 1992. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is its principal subsidiary with $50.5 billion of assets at Sept. 30, 1992.
 As the largest direct-debit, point-of-sale network in the world, Interlink processes more than half of all direct-debit point-of-sale transactions conducted in the United States. Each day Interlink averages 325,000 transactions with a growth rate of more than 25 percent this year, compared to the competition, which processed its first transaction less than four months ago.
 Following its acquisition of Interlink Network in the fall of 1991, Visa U.S.A. expanded the program, which had been operational in five Western states nationwide.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Tricia Wiseman of Visa U.S.A, 415-570-3510; Lorna Doubet of Wells Fargo Bank, 415-396-2350; or Gail Dorn of Target Stores, 612-370-8888/
 (DH WFC)


CO: Interlink Network; Visa U.S.A.; Target Stores; Dayton Hudson Corp.;
 Wells Fargo and Co.; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ST: California IN: FIN REA SU: JVN


RK-GT -- SF006 -- 2465 01/07/93 08:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 7, 1993
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