Visa USA has launched its first chip card for corporate purchasing. The smart Visa Business card is to be targeted at small business owners and is being issued initially by FleetBoston Financial.
Visa says that year-end spending by small businesses on the Internet is expected to reach $118 billion - nearly double last year's $60 billion. The smart Visa Business card, equipped with an electronic wallet that provides improved Internet payment functions, includes both magnetic stripe and chip-based payment technology.
Companies will be able to use the cards, and associated card readers, to shop safely online, participate in loyalty programmes, and enjoy volume discounts, says Visa.
"Business owners need products and services that save them time and money," says Tony McEwen, executive vice president, Visa USA "Smart Visa Business continues our aggressive efforts in the smart card arena."
Visa's chip card for the US consumer market was released late last year and is being issued by FleetBoston, Providian and Bank One.