On-line purchases will soar to $16 billion in the United States and Europe in 2002, fueled by Internet-based card transactions, the Datamonitor research firm estimated.

Last year's total was between $300 million and $500 million, London- based Datamonitor estimated. In a report based on interviews with 120 executives at technology companies, retailers, and financial institutions, the firm predicted that in five years 85% of U.S. and 81% of European Internet purchases would entail use of credit or debit cards. On-line purchases from the United States would be worth about $12.5 billion; those from Europe would be valued at $3.5 billion.

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