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SAN FRANCISCO -Visa USA saw the volume of sales on its cards issued in the U.S. climb by over 19% in 2004, the card brand reported, yielding a total of just over $1 trillion on all Visa branded cards (credit, debit, prepaid and commercial). “By any measure, 2004 was a record year for Visa USA and our Members,” said Carl Pascarella, CEO of Visa USA. “Visa’s performance last year is proof that we continue to deliver what consumers and businesses value most – payments that are convenient, secure and accepted at an unsurpassed number of locations worldwide. That’s why Visa continues to be the payments brand that cardholders turn to most often.” At the close of 2004, Visa Members had issued 458 million cards in the United States, an increase of 7% over the previous year, the card brand said. The biggest gains came in consumer credit cards which remained a significant source of Visa’s overall sales volume in 2004, gaining more than 11% to $517 billion in the U.S. This growth was driven in part by an increase in “everyday spend,” Visa said, and the success of Visa Signature product. Volume on the high end branded product increased more than 28% to $98 billion, solidifying Visa’s lead in the affluent segment, with approximately 37% of card volume in this target demographic, Visa said. Visa’s debit products including the Visa check card and Interlink, the point of sale network at which people use a personal identification number to validate their transaction, experienced record volumes last year, accounting for 40% of Visa volume and 59% of total transactions in the United States. Visa check card volume grew 19.7% to $346 billion. But it was volume on prepaid cards that really leaped. Volume on Visa prepaid cards, which are marketed primarily to lower income consumers, jumped 112% year over year, driven relatively large variety of products. Visa offers payroll, gift, corporate incentive, benefits, government disbursement, travelers, and general-purpose reloadable cards. In 2004, Visa worked with more than 140 members and multiple partners, including retailers, malls, third-party health plan administrators, brand- name employers, as well as 13 states in the United States to launch new prepaid programs, the card brand reported.

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