MasterCard passed the 300 million mark in U.S. payment cards during the third quarter. Gross dollar volume for the third quarter hit $155.9 billion compared with $125.0 billion for the 3Q/01, a 24.7% increase. MasterCard’s year-to-date volume of $439.7 billion represented a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2001. Purchase volume grew 16.6% and cash volume grew 21.0% during this same period. At September 30th, the number of MasterCard cards issued in the USA increased 15.1% to almost 309 million. In Canada, MasterCard GDV rose 19.8% for the first nine months of this year, and 21.1% for the third quarter of 2002, in each case compared to the same period in 2001. Purchase volume in Canada remained strong in the first nine months of 2002, representing over 82.2% of GDV in that region. At the end of the third quarter, Canadian banks had increased the number of MasterCard cards issued by 19.1% compared to 3Q/01. For more details on MasterCard’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).