PURCHASE, N.Y. – MasterCard International has reported that it experienced strong growth in both its credit and debit products through the first two quarters of 2003. In the U.S., MasterCard-branded cards were used in over 3.5 billion transactions in the first six months of 2003, the association said, generating $303.6 billion in volume, a 7% increase over the same period in 2002. Purchase volume growth of 11% drove this high growth rate. The association also reported that over the first six months the number of MasterCard cards issued in the United States increased 8.1% to over 319 million compared to the same period in 2002. Outstandings, which are the value of balances carried on MasterCard credit cards, stood at $279.1 billion at June 30, 2003, an increase of 9.6% over June 30, 2002, the association said. "Even in what is shaping up to be a challenging year, we continue our momentum because of the strong, strategic foundation we built several years ago, and the productive relationships we've developed with our customers," said Ruth Ann Marshall, president of MasterCard North America. "Clearly we're seeing more and more consumers putting their MasterCard at `top of wallet' as evidenced by U.S. purchase volume growth of 11%." [email protected]

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