PURCHASE, N.Y. - MasterCard International has introduced a Spanish-language Web site for the U.S. market.

According to the association, www.mastercardenespanol.com is the first Spanish-language Web site of a major brand in the card industry.

MasterCard reports that only 56% of Hispanics in the United States currently own credit cards. The association said that disposable income among Hispanics has doubled in the past 10 years, and is expected to double again in the next 10 years.

Larry Flanagan, chief marketing officer for MasterCard, said the site is meant to encourage Hispanics to seek out credit cards. "For a variety of reasons, a significant percentage of Latinos face unnecessary obstacles that limit their relationship with a bank, restrict access to credit cards and, therefore, prevent them from establishing a credit history," he said.

In conjunction with the Web site, Mr. Flanagan said MasterCard is developing "specialized services" for Hispanic consumers, such as budgeting tools and automated teller machine locators.

Earlier this year, MasterCard aired Spanish-language versions of its popular "Priceless" television advertisements on two Hispanic networks.

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