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VISA U.S.A.: WORLD'S LEADING DEBIT NETWORK INTRODUCES NATIONAL MARKETING PROGRAM; INTERLINK TO USE NEW LOGO IN MARKETING MATERIALS

 SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The push to replace cash and checks received a boost today when Interlink Network announced the nationwide availability of the first full-scale program to market its debit cards, Visa U.S.A. announced today. Bearing a newly designed Interlink logo, the program's marketing materials were created to help usher consumers and merchants into a new payment age.
 Interlink is a direct-debit network that allows consumers to immediately access their checking accounts for purchases at locations that accept the Interlink mark, such as supermarkets, gas stations and convenience stores. This is the first time a national program has been developed to aggressively market a direct-debit product.
 "More than 80 percent of all consumer transactions are made with cash or checks, but we believe debit will be the dominant payment method of the future," said Peter Gustafson, senior vice president of Visa Debit Products. "Once consumers try debit cards they find them to be much more convenient than checks and safer than cash," he added.
 The marketing materials are designed to communicate to new and present cardholders the value Interlink adds to ATM cards. As part of the program, Interlink assists financial institutions with product introduction, education and activation. In addition, the program helps merchants to launch a new Interlink program or expand an existing one.
 Program materials are available for consumers, merchants, financial institutions and regional networks. Consumers are encouraged through a mail promotion with Mars Inc. to use their Interlink cards for the first time and receive a coupon for a free king-size bag of M&Ms. In addition, brochures to help educate consumers about Interlink will be mailed with new Interlink cards.
 Merchants can take advantage of many signage options that encourage card use at the point of sale. For example, window decals, outdoor banners and ceiling mobiles are available. Finally, posters, counter cards and take-one brochures that promote Interlink are ready for display at financial institutions.
 All materials include the new Interlink logo which incorporates a modified graphic design and the blue and gold colors also found in the Visa logo. Existing card programs and merchant locations will all display the new logo before 1996 and outdoor and special signage will switch before 1998.
 Interlink has more than 350 financial institutions committed to the program and processes more than half of all direct-debit, point-of-sale transactions in the United States. The network processed more than 100 million transactions last year, generating $2.5 billion in sales and currently has more than 16 million Interlink cardholders. Interlink is a subsidiary of Visa U.S.A.
 With more than 27 million debit cards in the United States, Visa leads the debit industry with 13 times more cards than its nearest competition, MasterCard. Visa estimates it will have 100 million debit cards in the United States by 1996.
 -0- 12/16/92
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa U.S.A., 415-570-3510/


CO: Visa U.S.A.; Interlink Network ST: California IN: FIN SU:

SG-GT -- SF002 -- 7524 12/16/92 07:33 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1992
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