SAN FRANCISCO - Visa U.S.A. said it plans to test a prepaid card next year, which could substitute for travelers checks.
The card's value would be tracked by Visa's central computers. Travelers would get personal identification numbers, enabling them to draw cash from 160,000 automated teller machines in Visa's global network. Visa said it would replace any lost or stolen card within 24 hours.
The product, which Visa calls the first international prepaid card, would be tested in the United States and other regions next year, with a full-scale launch planned for 1995. North American banks could sell as many as two million cards with $1.3 billion of value in the first full year, the card group said.
Visa U.S.A. president Carl Pascarella said Visa anticipates allowing the cards to be used in point of sale terminals and potentially sold as gift cards or corporate cash advances.