SAN FRANCISCO – Visa continued to increase its sales and transaction volume in the third quarter, according to the card brand. Visa’s sales and cash volume across its entire product line increased by 16.4% over the volume in the same quarter of 2003, the number one card brand has reported. Sales alone increased 18.2% ($267.9 billion), the number of accounts by 7.9% (332 million) and the number of cards by 8.2% (453 million). The number of members actually declined very slightly, however, by 0.1% to 13,788, even as the number of merchant locations accepting Visa branded cards increased by 8.0% to roughly 5.6 million By far the biggest increase the brand reported took place among cards for which cardholders use a personal identification number to authenticate their transactions and which took place at merchants that use Visa’s Interlink network. Visa reported that sales and cash volume for these transactions in the third quarter were counted at $20.9 billion, an increase of 132%.

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