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Visa Reports Card Fraud Drops to Record Low;
Anti-Fraud Programs Produce Dramatic Results
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16, 1998 -  Visa U.S.A. reduced fraud on its credit and debit cards to a record low in 1997, a company official reported today. Card fraud averaged only .08 percent of volume in 1997 or eight cents out of every $100 spent. That is nearly two and a half times lower than at its peak in 1992-1993 of .19 percent of volume and considerably lower than the 1996 level of .11 percent of volume.

The overall rate of growth in fraud has also been declining as total payment service volume has grown. For the
four quarters ending March 1997, fraud grew 10 percent. By June 1997, fraud growth had slowed to 8.1 percent,
and in the four quarters ending September 30, 1997, fraud growth was just 6.4 percent. Visa U.S.A. annual total payment service volume reached $504.9 billion through September 30, 1997.

"There is no single, simple solution to the complex problem of card fraud," said Bill Stewart, Executive Vice
President of Visa, U.S.A. "Visa has been aggressive in designing and implementing many effective programs to
reduce fraud and protect its members, cardholders, and merchants," he added.

Visa has successfully reduced fraud every year since 1993. The consistent decline is credited to three primary
anti-fraud programs the company has implemented.

In addition, in 1997, Visa reduced liability to consumer cardholders to zero if they reported unauthorized
transactions within two business days. This "zero liability" policy was created, in part, to reduce the time
available for fraudulent activity.

"Visa U.S.A has made card security a priority," Stewart said. "While we've pushed fraud to a record low, Visa will
keep working to eliminate card fraud. Consumers can join in this effort by treating their Visa card like a thousand
dollar bill and by following some basic tips," he added.

Visa's recommended consumer safety tips include:

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role
in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, 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 nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14
million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa's Internet
address is

Malin Jennings, 202-828-8870, for Visa U.S.A.
Web site:

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