Visa International and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games said that Visa will continue to be the exclusive payment card of the 1996 Olympic games.

Visa has been a worldwide Olympic sponsor since 1986 and has been the exclusive card accepted at Olympic venues. However, in prior Olympics other cards were accepted when fans purchased tickets by phone.

This year the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games will handle telemarketing. When tickets go on sale in February for the Summer Games, Visa will be the only card accepted for payment. It also will be the only card accepted for purchases of Olympic merchandise. The two organizations announced details of the agreement last week.

If someone wants to buy a ticket but does not have a Visa card, a telemarketer will give the customer the opportunity to apply for the card, taking credit information immediately.

Visa and few unnamed member banks have agreed to make appropriate credit arrangements to facilitate the purchase. The customer will learn in a few hours if they were approved for a Visa card.

In a statement, Visa U.S.A. president Carl Pascarella said: "Visa's exclusivity has been protected, consumer interests met, and ticket sales still maximized."

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