NEW YORK - MasterCard International and Verifone Inc. have announced a joint marketing initiative to promote on-line point of sale debit in Asia.

Research predicts the use of on-line debit will grow by 41% in Asia in the next decade.

The MasterCard/Verifone initiative will promote debit card acceptance across the region by making terminals with keypads more accessible to merchant-acquiring banks in Asia.

Discounts and bonus points toward free systems will be available on selected Verifone systems during the coming year. The systems are expected to be deployed in places such as department stores, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets. The systems will support credit and debit card purchases and can be upgraded for smart cards.

The initiative is part of a global alliance between MasterCard and Verifone to promote electronic payment at the point of sale.

Verifone is based in Redwood City, Calif. Its Asia-Pacific operation is headquartered in Singapore, with sales and support offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and in Sydney, Australia.

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