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SAN FRANCISCO – Visa USA wants a bigger share of the smaller transactions market, purchases of $25 or less, primarily through its No Signature Required program and Small Ticket Payment Service. Visa anticipates that the No Signature Required program and expanded Small Ticket Payment Service will accelerate card acceptance and usage at traditionally cash-heavy merchants by increasing cardholder convenience and providing economic incentives to acquirers, the card brand said. As part of Visa’s No Signature Required program for transactions less than $25, a broad range of cash-heavy businesses can now accept Visa for purchases without obtaining a cardholder signature. Visa’s small ticket strategy also expands the Small Ticket Payment Service to offer acquirers decreased credit and debit interchange rates on consumer card transactions of $15 or less in seven new merchant categories. Now, a total of 14 categories can benefit from the reduced rates for transactions below this threshold, including a further reduction on debit interchange beginning this month. “Visa’s small ticket payments strategy is just one example of how we’re working to anticipate needs and give consumers more reasons to use their payment cards in new places,” said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president, with Visa USA. “For merchants, card payments that replace cash provide faster service, accounting efficiencies and can bring higher average tickets.” Visa’s preliminary estimates indicate that by the end of 2006 as many as 27% of all Visa transactions may qualify for Visa’s No Signature Required program. The small ticket payments segment represents a sizable opportunity for Visa, as consumers increasingly use their cards for everyday purchases, Visa explained. The merchant segments that qualify for Visa’s No Signature Required program represent approximately $750 billion in consumer spending, half of which is cash today. According to a recent Visa survey of 1,132 Americans, more than one in three (38%) stated that they use their payment cards at least four times per week for small ticket purchases. The types of small ticket purchases most frequently made by survey respondents are: gas and service stations (71%) meals and fast food restaurants (60%); drug stores (51%); and convenience stores (50 %). Visa’s volume on purchases less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments totaled $49.1 billion in 2005, up 25% from 2004. In the recent Visa survey, 45% of respondents said they use their payment cards for small ticket purchases more frequently than they did three years ago. Consumers surveyed overwhelmingly said that they use payment cards for their convenience (73%), efficiency (44%) and speed (39%). In addition, 50% noticed that small ticket purchases without signature were faster than cash or signing a receipt. [email protected]

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