March 18, 1997 1:15 PM ET
Visa president says era of 'infomoney' is just starting
By Stephanie LaPolla

  New York--Get ready for "infomoney," the newest cyberterm in the expanding glossary of cybercommerce.

Describing the future of currency exchange in a keynote speech delivered this morning at Gartner Group Inc.'s Internet @ Electronic Commerce Conference, Carl Pascarella, president and CEO of Visa USA, coined the term.

"Human behavior technology in banks will form the foundation for the cashless society that is quickly descending upon us," said Pascarella. "Consumers must have trust in the 'keepers' of their personal and financial information. Therefore, banks, which are perceived as high integrity organizations, will be on the forefront of the new information economy."

Pascarella said transaction standards and security protocols such as the Secure Electronic Transaction specification developed by Visa and Master Card last year will help speed the acceptance of infomoney. (Visa also is forging new relationships with GTE Corp., IBM, Microsoft Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp. to merge banking standards with mainstream applications.)

Infomoney is happening now, but Pascarella added that the concept will become more visible by year's end when Visa delivers multi-application microchips-based cards that people can use to conduct transactions.

The cards, which will become available in the United Kingdom and South Africa, also will contain personal information that allows banks to customize the cards.

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