SAN FRANCISCO - Visa International is announcing today a new business unit that will support the card association's electronic commerce initiatives in different regions.

The new department, e-Visa International, will be headed by Philip Yen, executive vice president at Visa, and will work to advance mobile commerce, chip technology, and common standards for digital commerce around the world.

The division will be staffed with about 30 e-commerce and technology specialists, Visa said.

New hires for e-Visa International include: John Williams, who has worked for a number of Internet startups and will be e-Visa's senior vice president for market intelligence and alliances; Dave Wentker, formerly a vice president at RioPort, an online digital music provider, who will be vice president of commerce applications and chip integration; and Benny Wong from, where he was head of technology and operations.

"Each of Visa's operating regions is approaching e-commerce in ways that make sense for their specific markets," Mr. Yen said. "We created e-Visa International to complement these regional approaches by deepening our understanding of the global business opportunities in this new channel, extending our technology leadership, and developing strategic market alliances."

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