More people will do their holiday shopping on-line this season than ever before, according to a recent survey, a trend that bodes well for banks and other credit card issuers because on-line shoppers have in the past overwhelmingly made their electronic purchases with a credit card.

A Visa-sponsored survey in October found that 55% of 1,037 people with Internet access intended to shop on the Internet this Christmas season, up from 46% in a survey last year. Significant to banks is the fact that two-thirds of the respondents said they had at sometime or another made an on-line purchase and 88% of these said they had used a credit card to complete the purchase. "This is really the year of on-line shopping, more so than last year," said Gerry Sweeney, vice president of marketing at Visa U.S.A.'s eVisa electronic commerce division. "We're seeing consumers really adopt this into their everyday lives."

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