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 July 11, 2007
Seven Bank ATMs In Japan Accepts Overseas-Issued Visa Cards For Yen

 Visa International in cooperation with Seven Bank Ltd. announced that more than 12,000 Seven Bank ATMs have been installed which allow international Visa cardholders to conduct cash withdrawals in yen starting today, 11 July 2007. Seven Bank has installed the ATMs primarily in Seven-Eleven and Ito-Yokado stores throughout Japan. These ATMs offer service menus and print receipts in English, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.

Most ATMs in Japan, aside from those of Japan Post, a few banks and credit card companies, do not allow yen withdrawals to be made with overseas-issued credit cards since these ATMs are based on Japan-specific standards. As a result, many visitors for business or leisure have found it difficult to make yen withdrawals in Japan with their overseas-issued cards. This prompted calls by the tourism industry for domestic ATMs to be reconfigured based on international standards so that cards issued by foreign financial institutions can be used more easily in Japan.

With the ATMs being located at Seven-Eleven stores, a global convenience store brand Visa cardholders visiting Japan will be able to make yen withdrawals with greater ease and confidence. Through the introduction of this service, Visa International seeks to promote the development of a world-class payments system in Japan and make a substantial contribution to the "Visit Japan Campaign."

ATM Locator - A New Map Search Function

Visa International is also launching a new map search function on its "Experience Tokyo with Visa" website* called "ATM Locator". The service pinpoints ATMs in Japan which accept overseas-issued Visa cards. By typing in a train station name the ATM Locator will find nearby ATMs where Visa cardholders can use their overseas-issued Visa cards. The search then provides a map of the area surrounding the train station, pinpointing the nearby Seven Bank and Japan Post ATMs. The search function will be upgraded to show other ATMs near the specified train station where cardholders can make yen withdrawals using Visa cards issued overseas. This service is available in English and Japanese so that English-speaking foreign visitors can locate ATMs themselves using the English-language search function and hotel concierges and others can, in response to requests from foreign visitors, locate ATMs using the Japanese-language search function. This new map search service will make the stay of foreign visitors to Japan more convenient.

Visa International's Efforts To Improve The Stay Of Foreign Visitors To Japan

As a follow-up to the "Visit Japan with Visa" promotion that started in September 2004, Visa International recently launched the "Experience Tokyo with Visa" website to provide an array of tips and information as well as special discounts and other promotions to make the stay of foreign visitors to Japan more comfortable and worthwhile. The new website has been well received thanks in part to the "Gourmet Navigator with Visa" restaurant search function which enables users to access information on more than 1,000 restaurants across Japan in English, Chinese, or Korean.

The Japanese government seeks to attract 10 million foreign tourists annually to Japan by 2010 under the "Visit Japan Campaign" aimed at raising Japan's profile as a tourist destination. To achieve this goal, relevant national government ministries and agencies are working together with local authorities and private-sector companies. The number of foreign visitors to Japan has increased steadily since this campaign was initiated and topped 7.3 million in 2006**.

Visa International, which offers services in over 170 countries worldwide, has contributed to this campaign since inaugurating the "Visit Japan with Visa" promotion in September 2004, and remains active in providing services and information that make it possible for Visa cardholders visiting Japan from overseas to use their Visa cards with ease and confidence.

*The "Experience Tokyo with Visa" website offers various tips on how foreign visitors can enjoy their stay in Tokyo, as well as information on special discounts and gifts for those using their Visa cards.

**According to a report of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.