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Visa Wants J.P. Morgan’s Business

From Reuters

Visa USA aims to be the dominant credit card organization for the megabank to be formed by the pending merger of Bank One Corp., the top issuer of Visa cards, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the No. 3 MasterCard issuer, the head of Visa said Monday.

Executives at both banks have said they had not decided whether they would stick with Visa or MasterCard when they combined, but analysts expect the merged company to shift the majority of its card business to one association or the other.

“We’re going out and we’re going to win that business,” said Carl Pascarella, Visa USA president and chief executive, in an interview, referring to the pending merger.

J.P. Morgan Chase last month said it would buy Bank One for about $58 billion.

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The combined companies would be the largest issuer of general-purpose credit cards in the United States, according to the Nilson Report, an industry publication.

“We think that we are the best partner for a bank or any financial institution to have in the United States,” said Pascarella, citing Visa’s systems, products and brand.

Pascarella said he was not surprised by MBNA Corp.'s announcement that it would offer American Express Co. cards once litigation between it and Visa and MasterCard was resolved.

Visa said Monday that dollar volume on its branded credit, debit and prepaid cards rose close to 12% in 2003, compared with growth of 8.1% a year earlier.

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