January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online Credit Comfort Level Increasing

The recent surge of online credit card use indicates that consumers are quickly becoming more comfortable with making purchases online, and credit cards have established themselves as the "new online currency," according to research released by (www.cyberdialogue.com) Cyber Dialogue, New York. The number of U.S. adults using credit cards to purchase goods and services online more than doubled between 1998 and 1999, it says, and by third-quarter 1999, 19.2 million adults used their credit cards to make online transactions, compared to 9.3 million in 1998 and only 4.9 million in 1997.
     Visa is the most common card used by adults who complete purchase transactions online. Nearly 70% of online purchasers who use credit cards online report using a Visa card, while one-third use MasterCard and 15% use American Express, says Cyber Dialogue. In addition, Visa retained a more than 50% market share of online consumer transactions, while just over one-quarter of transactions are completed with MasterCard, 12% with American Express and 6% with Discover.

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