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Leading Banks Make It Easy to Open Virtual Wallets This Holiday Season

Added: (Tue Nov 30 1999)

Pressbox (Press Release) - E-Visa Launching Consumer Education Effort to Drive Adoption of Digital Wallets

SAN FRANCISCO--Nov. 30, 1999--Tired of using an old leather wallet?

Several of the country's leading banks have teamed with e-Visa, the Internet unit of Visa U.S.A, to launch an aggressive consumer education campaign demonstrating the enhanced convenience of using digital wallets for online shopping. E-Visa and the participating banks will drive wallet usage and estimate that 1 million consumers will sign up for the free bank-offered service. Participating banks currently include Bank One (NYSE:ONE - news), Capital One (NYSE:COF - news), MBNA (NYSE:KRB - news), Providian Financial's Aria.com (NYSE:PVN - news) and U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB - news). E-Visa is working with a number of other financial institutions to implement wallet programs during the coming months. The wallet campaign will create cardholder awareness through national print advertising, bank statement inserts and ongoing consumer education initiatives. For more information, log on to Visa's web site at www.visa.com/wallet.

Digital wallets offer online shoppers a timesaving, shopping shortcut by streamlining the payment and checkout process. According to a 1999 Jupiter Communications survey, 27 percent of online shoppers report that, at one time or another, they have abandoned an online shopping cart because they did not want to fill out arduous order forms. Digital wallets can store payment information in one secure place allowing data to be transferred at the point of sale with one easy click.

Visa, the leading payment brand, underscores the importance of digital wallets as a portable shopping tool and a major step towards the mass adoption of e-commerce.

"Consumers trust their banks and Visa for their financial needs. Visa's goal is to make online shopping even more convenient, fun and secure with portable wallets that work at multiple merchant sites," said Steve Ryan, senior vice president, technology, e-Visa. "With Visa in their digital wallets, consumers can shop safely and easily 'everywhere they can imagine' on the Internet."

As part of this initiative, Visa is working with leading digital wallet vendors, including CyberCash, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYCH - news) to develop unique wallet programs for several of the participating banks. The wallets being distributed by the participating banks are 'server side' wallets that are portable and allow online shoppers the flexibility to use the same wallet on different PC's at home, at work, or on the road. Server side wallets require no special software on the part of the consumer and work at multiple merchant sites on the Internet.

What is a Digital Wallet?

A digital wallet is a software application for online shopping that is used as an electronic equivalent of a physical wallet for Internet purchases, and much more. A digital wallet typically stores payment card and shipping information that is automatically exchanged with the merchant as part of the secure transaction session. Wallets can simplify and organize online shopping, by:

Managing multiple payment cards and shipping addresses;
Tracking online purchases with digital receipts;
Storing user-id's and passwords for multiple web sites;
Providing links to online merchants;
Offering product and merchant search capabilities;
Informing users of special deals from Internet merchants

Security and Privacy Features

Shopping online with a digital wallet is secure. Wallets use an industry standard encryption software known as SSL (secure socket layer) to ensure that financial and other personal information is transmitted securely during an online transaction. Additionally, when using the wallet, a consumer must enter a personal user-id and password, which keeps individual payment information private and protected.

Advertising and Marketing Support

Beginning Tuesday November 30, Visa will place holiday-themed print advertising in major national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and The Industry Standard, and several regional publications, including the Charlotte Observer, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. The ads will focus on the convenience of digital wallets for shopping online this holiday season.

As part of the wallet campaign, participating banks are mailing special billing statement inserts and will be continuing special marketing promotions and offers throughout the coming year.

About e-Visa

A division of Visa U.S.A., e-Visa was created to accelerate mass adoption of electronic commerce and to position Visa as the currency of the e-economy. The division consolidates all of Visa's e-commerce competencies, including brand marketing, processing systems, operations, business development and alliances and partnerships into one unit. E-Visa is designed to enable Visa Member banks to better serve their customers -- including cardholders, merchants and businesses -- and to compete by differentiating themselves in the emerging e-economy.

Visa U.S.A. is the leading payment brand and the largest consumer payment system in the U.S. Last year, U.S. bank-issued Visa cards accounted for some $610 billion in transactions, including those online and at the point of sale. Visa's more than 600 million cards are accepted at more than 17 million worldwide locations, including more than 500,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa's Internet address is www.visa.com.

Participating Bank Contact Information:

Robin Yocum
To sign up for a Bank One wallet go to www.bankone.com/bankonewallet

To sign up for a Capital One wallet, go to www.myonewallet.com.

Steve Boyden
To sign up for a MBNA wallet, go to www.mbnawallet.com

Providian Financial
Providian's e-commerce division is responsible for managing the company's digital wallet program. The wallet will be available via www.aria.com before the end of the year.

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