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PURCHASE, N.Y. – MasterCard International announced that 50 financial institutions now issue its business debit card. The number of debit MasterCard Business Card issuers has increased 21% through the first half of 2003 compared to the previous year, card count and purchase volume have risen 61% respectively, and purchase transactions are up 70%, MasterCard reported. According to industry and MasterCard research, nearly 90% of small businesses report using cash and checks to pay for business expenses, while only a fraction (12%) utilize debit business cards. However, 78% of small businesses regularly use credit cards for business expenses and increasingly business proprietors and operators view debit cards as an ideal day-to-day cash alternative. MasterCard research reveals that debit business cards are commonly used for office supplies (70% of users), business travel and entertainment (58%), equipment (53%) inventory (48%) and other basic expenditures necessary to keep a business up-and-running. MasterCard research and industry estimates also show that debit business card users, on average, spend $73 per debit purchase transaction, nearly twice what consumers spend. Considering small business expenditures on average total more than $300,000 annually, an incredible opportunity exists to convert today’s cash and check payments into tomorrow’s debit card volume. Similarly, now is an opportune time to help issuers drive debit account activation, boost transactions, and increase overall account penetration. “Business debit means going beyond business as usual, to focus your sights on a new source of volume,” noted Richard G. Lyons, Jr., senior vice president, Deposit Access Group, North America, MasterCard International. “Make the right moves and a financial institution can deepen relationships with a vast and growing cardholder segment.” [email protected]

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