Consumer Payment Card News


To showcase the largest U.S. retailer accepting payment cards, and to drive Visa usage, Visa U.S.A. is launching a promotion with the United States Postal Service (USPS) offering customers a free gift with purchase.

During the month of February, every customer who uses a Visa credit of debit card for purchases at the USPS will receive a set of four postcards featuring winning designs from Visa’s Olympics of the Imagination international children’s art contest.

This is the first premium-based promotion involving Visa and the USPS, which began accepting credit and debit cards in 1995 and now accepts them at more than 32,000 offices nationwide. For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 1997, consumers used plastic for more than 29.8 million postal transactions, which translated into more than $1.2 billion in purchases. This number is expected to increase significantly in 1998.

By accepting payment cards, the USPS has not only enhanced customer convenience, but also reaped considerable financial savings, due to the fact that the cost of processing payment card transactions is approximately half that of processing cash and checks.

A Visa promotion with the USPS is a natural fit, according to Armen Khachadourian, Visa’s senior vice president, new and emerging market development. “Offering a gift with purchase to post office customers allows us the chance to highlight the products and services the USPS offers, as well as the convenience and flexibility of Visa cards as a payment option,” he said. “We are proud to be working with the nation’s largest retailer.”

The Visa Olympics of the Imagination international art contest challenges schoolchildren between the ages of nine and 13 years old to create artwork that shows a person they admire participating in an Olympic Winter Games sport. More than 3,500 schools in the U.S. and schools in 14 other countries participated in this year’s contest. Four winning representatives from the U.S., will travel with one parent or guardian each, to join their international counterparts at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan from February 5-11, 1998, as guests of Visa.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivitol role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institution, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s 618 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is

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