PURCHASE, N.Y. - MasterCard International has introduced a free electronic wallet that people can use at 1,400 Internet merchants.

Using the e-wallet, which was developed by Brodia, cardholders may store their credit card numbers and shipping and billing addresses in one place, averting the need to retype the information for every purchase. The wallet also offers product research and price comparisons.

According to MasterCard research, 63% of Internet users have abandoned the online shopping process at checkout at least once in a three-month period, and 38% said they did so because it took too long to complete a purchase.

"Shopping online is largely about speed and convenience, but often consumers are left frustrated by the final step - completing the purchase order form," said Larry Flanagan, senior vice president of North America marketing at MasterCard.

Consumers can sign up for e-wallets at the card association's Web site or at a number of MasterCard's member banks.

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