Visa Commercial Metric Tracks and Forecasts Increased Business and Government Spending

SAN FRANCISCO--(CCNMatthews - Feb 8, 2006) - Financial Index Measures $60.8 Trillion in 2005, Forecasts $64.8 Trillion in 2006 Commercial Spend Worldwide Visa Commercial today released the global Commercial Consumption Expenditure (CCE) forecast for 2006 that shows steady growth in business and government spending worldwide. Using the CCE index, the first and only standardized metric to track business and government spending globally, Visa Commercial predicts global CCE in 2006 will be US $64.8 trillion, which represents a 6.6 percent increase over 2005 estimates of US $60.8 trillion. The CCE index provides the global payment industry, including Visa and its 21,000 member financial institutions, an unbiased and consistent way to monitor global business expenditures. The Visa CCE index includes all commercial spending with the exception of payroll and other select expenditures. "As the only standardized global metric to track and forecast global commercial spending, Visa Commercial's CCE index captures the pulse of business and government spending and measures the continued transition to electronic payment systems, including the full spectrum of Visa products and services," said Aliza Knox, senior vice president, Visa Commercial, Visa International. "The global CCE index provides a reliable benchmark of global business expenditures which allows us to gauge the traction of various payment types with corporate and government entities and helps to identify new growth opportunities for our members." CCE Methodology Utilizing methodology developed in-house by Visa and unveiled in 2004, CCE draws upon government data in methods similar to the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index, which monitors consumer-related spending. Global CCE is estimated using four key data elements: the amount of business-to-business purchases to acquire goods and services used in production; wholesale and retail purchases of final goods; some business capital expenditures; and government spending on goods and services. Adjustments were made for capitalized expenditures, such as construction and durable defense spending. The calculations measure transactions at basic prices, which include taxes (less subsidies) on production. The types of transactions included in CCE can be captured on a variety of Visa products including Visa Corporate, Visa Commerce, Visa Purchasing, Visa Business and Visa Distribution. Commercial Expenditure Regional Breakdown Overall 2005 estimates and 2006 forecasts for electronic and paper-based business and government spending within Visa's six global regions breaks down as follows: Region 2004 Actual 2005 Estimate 2006 Forecast Europe US$20.1 trillion US$21.1 trillion US$22.1 trillion ---------------------------------------------------------------------- United States US$15.1 trillion US$16.3 trillion US$17.4 trillion ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Asia Pacific US$14.0 trillion US$15.0 trillion US$16.1 trillion ----------------------------------------------------------------------Central/Eastern US$3.1 trillion US$3.7 trillion US$4.2 trillion Europe, Middle East and Africa ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Latin America/ US$2.4 trillion US$2.9 trillion US$3.1 trillionCaribbean: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Canada US$1.5 trillion US$1.7 trillion US$1.9 trillion ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Total Global CCE US$56.1 trillion US$60.8 trillion US$64.8 trillion ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Global payment trends indicate a movement towards electronic-based transactions, providing a significant opportunity for Visa's suite of commercial products. Visa Commercial provides payment products with information management and services designed to help businesses and government achieve greater efficiency, control and convenience. The global CCE index establishes a valuable baseline for measuring market penetration growth and effectiveness for Visa and its member financial institutions. Visa will continue to provide global CCE forecasts annually. Notes to Editors: Complementary CCE Analysis Available: Visa USA is providing a detailed segmentation analysis of commercial spending in the US market broken down by small, mid-sized and large companies, and government agencies associated with the release of the latest global CCE data. For more information, please visit the newsroom at www.usa.visa.com. Within the next week, Visa Europe will also be providing a localized version of the CCE announcement containing data specific to their region. For more information, please visit their press and media site at www.visaeurope.com. About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com. About Visa Commercial: Visa Commercial provides payment products with information management and services designed to help businesses and the public sector achieve greater efficiency, control and convenience. By integrating with an organization's financial system, Visa Commercial payment products and services automate manual processes, reduce administrative activities and eliminate paper-based processes. Visa Commercial ensures compliance with an organization's policy and provides spending control, greater insight into expenditures, and cash flow management for virtually every type of business expense and segment, including small business, middle-market, large enterprises, and the public sector. As the leader in the commercial market space, Visa Commercial offers unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.visa.com/visacommercial. CONTACT INFORMATION Visa International Sabine Middlemass, 650-432-8307 Cell: 650-533-4106 email: globalmedia@visa.com or Burson-Marsteller Melanie Egusa, 415-591-4085 email: melanie_egusa@sfo.bm.com.