Itau Issues Visa Electron

Wednesday, September 27, 2000

The high-income personal banking unit of Brazil's Banco Itau, Personnalite Itau, has issued Visa Electron credit and debit cards to reduce costs and encourage customer loyalty, Visa product manager Carmen Gomes said in a statement.

Around 30,000 of Personnalite's 45,000 customers are expected to use Visa Electron. Traditional checks cost around US$1 to clear, Gomes said, while the cost of electronic transfers is only a few cents.

Visa Electron transactions are expected to reach US$1.08bn this year, up from US$314mn last year, according to Visa Brazil business director Lia Kuzmenko. The Visa Eletron card will debit customers accounts one day after purchase.

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Personnalite customers must have monthly income of more than US$2,710 or investments of more than US$27,000. The bank has 33 agencies across Brazil, and plans to reach 40 by year-end.

Itau is Brazil's second largest privately held bank in terms of assets.