SAN JOSE, Calif. - Visa U.S.A. has built its new payment processing system, Visa DirectExchange, on BEA Systems Inc.'s Tuxedo transaction server.

Visa DirectExchange, which is being connected to Visa U.S.A. member banks, will be the world's largest private financial payments network and the foundation for Visa U.S.A.'s future payment systems, the company says. In addition to processing all U.S.-issued Visa credit and debit card payments, DirectExchange will facilitate "anytime, anywhere" Web commerce, allowing the network to accept payment from wired and wireless devices.

"We expect an explosion in the number and types of electronic payment transactions that customers will choose in the future, sparked by the availability of new electronic devices and new means of electronic dialogue among trading partners," said Scott Thompson, Visa USA's chief technology officer.

Built on BEA's technology, Visa DirectExchange is designed to process more than $1 trillion in payments a year. By the end of 2001, it will accommodate volume of 10,000 transactions per second, more than double the current volume to 100 billion transactions a year. Visa expects these numbers to climb higher as new payment technologies enter the mainstream.

Visa's goal is to turn its closed proprietary payments system, VisaNet, into an open "plug and play" environment. The U.S. rollout of Visa DirectExchange is planned to continue into 2002. Once it is completely implemented in the United States, the system will be taken worldwide by regional Visa International subsidiaries.

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