International spending on Visa at 2010 Olympic Winter Games approaches US$10
million in one day

Vancouver, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - According to Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), spending by international visitors on Visa cards at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and in British Columbia has approached nearly US$10 million and reached more than 100,000 Visa transactions in a single day.

The spend of US$9.8 million by visitors on their Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards on the sixth day of the Olympic Winter Games in British Columbia, February 17, 2010, was an increase of more than 91 percent over the same day last year. This is significantly higher than the US$6.9 million spent on day two of the Games, Saturday, February 13, 2010.

For the first six days of the Games (12 to 18 February 2010), international Visa cardholder spending in British Columbia reached US$38.3 million, which is an increase of 65 percent compared with the same period last year (US$23.2 million). The number of transactions was approximately 370,000, which is an increase of 42 percent over the same period last year when there were approximately 260,000 transactions.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010, saw the biggest Visa spenders coming from the United States (US$5.7m), followed by China (US$625,000), the United Kingdom (US$391,000), Japan (US$346,000) and Australia ($289,000). Visitors from these five countries accounted for more than 75 percent of all international spending on Visa cards on this date.

Accommodation, travel, entertainment and retail sales accounted for more than 95 percent of the record number of Visa transactions on Wednesday at merchants accepting Visa in British Columbia.

"The festive atmosphere in this Olympic city as fans from all over the world embrace these Games and the creative Visa promotions being offered by thousands of merchants who accept Visa in the Whistler and Vancouver areas, are contributing significantly to the impact on the British Columbia economy," Michael Lynch, Head of Global Sponsorships at Visa said. "It's obvious that fans are here to enjoy these Olympic Winter Games and these numbers show they are bringing their Visa cards with them and enjoying themselves."

Top Ten Visa Card Spenders by Country/Territory on day six of the Games throughout British Columbia

    
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    Ranking   Country/Territory                         Total spend (USD)
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    1         United States of America                    $5.7 million
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    2         China                                         $625,000
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    3         UK                                            $391,000
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    4         Japan                                         $346,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5         Australia                                     $289,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6         South Korea                                   $229,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7         Russian Federation                            $226,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8         Hong Kong (China)                             $221,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9         Norway                                        $173,000
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    10        Germany                                       $159,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

Visa has been a proud Worldwide Sponsor of the Olympic Games for 24 years and is the only card accepted at Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games venues for any official Games-related transactions. Only Visa card products - credit, debit, prepaid and Visa electron cards - are accepted at all POS card acceptance devices and ATMs in 2010 venues.

At the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Visa has installed a special ATM network and more than 800 point-of-sale acceptance devices at competition and non-competition venues, including the Main Press Centre, the International Broadcast Centre and the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler.

For the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Visa's Global Consumer Assistance Centre is staffed with multilingual Visa personnel who can provide a variety of card payment related services. These include replacement of lost or stolen cards, Visa Travellers Cheques or Visa Travel Money. Visa cardholders may call 1-800-847-2199 or 1-800-VISA-199 for assistance. Other services provided include information about and help with lost/stolen passports, police and hospital services, shopping, transport, dining and tourism, and ATM locations.

More sponsorship information is available at www.visa.com/olympicmediakit. Current Visa Go World advertising, video, and photo materials are available at www.thenewsmarket.com/visa.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: concerning Visa and the Olympic Games, please contact Nancy Panter at (415) 244-9857; or Teri Broughton at (416) 625-6713

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