Master Card

HSBC Gives U.S. Customers a Simpler Way to Pay
New York, September 14, 2005 - HSBC Bank USA, N.A., (NYSE: HBC) the U.S. banking unit of one of the world's largest financial services companies, today announced it has begun issuing new debit cards that feature MasterCard PayPass contactless payment technology to its new and existing customers. With the issuance of these new contactless payment cards, HSBC becomes one of the first U.S. banks to provide its customers with a faster, more convenient shopping experience. The bank expects to issue about 1 million cards through the end of 2005 and will be the first bank to completely reissue its debit cards to include PayPass.

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MasterCard PayPass allows cardholders to speed through checkout by simply tapping on specially equipped merchant terminals to pay. PayPass eliminates the need for consumers to fumble for cash and coins, hand over their payment card to a clerk or swipe it through a reader. At selected merchants, signatures may not be required for purchases under $25, further speeding customer's transactions.

With MasterCard PayPass, we're adding time savings and convenience to our debit checking account packages and using technology to improve our customer's experience, said Kevin Newman, senior executive vice president for Personal Financial Services. PayPass gives our customers an innovative, convenient and secure payment option, while providing them with the same zero-liability protections as traditional payment cards.

MasterCard PayPass is simpler and faster than cash, thereby speeding consumers through the check-out process, said Cathleen Conforti, senior vice president and Global PayPass Product Manager, MasterCard International. PayPass also provides consumers with better record keeping than cash, and increases their feeling of security, since they remain in control of the card during transactions.

PayPass cards, like other traditional MasterCard cards, also include magnetic stripe technology, so cardholders can use the cards anywhere MasterCard is accepted around the world. The following merchants have announced that they will accept MasterCard PayPass: participating McDonald's, 7-Eleven stores, CVS, Ritz Camera Centers, Boater's World Marine Centers, Sheetz, Regal Entertainment Group theatres (Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres), Duane Reade and Meijer Stores. For more information about MasterCard PayPass, visit www.mastercard.com/paypass.

Existing HSBC Bank customers will automatically receive their new cards. New customers can visit us.hsbc.com, call 1-800-975-4722 or visit a branch to get more information and open an account.

How MasterCard PayPass Works
MasterCard PayPass uses radio frequency technology to transmit payment details wirelessly between the PayPass device and the merchant's terminal. The transaction is then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement. MasterCard PayPass acceptance is ideal for quick payment environments where speed and ease of use are essential, such as quick serve restaurants, gas stations, drug stores and movie theaters.

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 105 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com.

About HSBC Bank USA, National Association
: HSBC Bank USA, N.A. has nearly 400 branches in New York State, a network of branches in Florida, Pennsylvania and California and one branch each in New Jersey, Delaware, Washington State, Oregon and Washington, D.C. It is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc, an indirectly-held, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., one of the nation's 10 largest bank holding companies by assets. For more information about HSBC Bank USA and its products and services visit us.hsbc.com.