Convinced that travelers are ready for a prepaid cash card to be used at automatic teller machines worldwide, Visa plans to begin test marketing the concept in a few months and to have it fully available in North America in 1995.

The company expects that as many as two million such cards will be sold during its first year of full distribution and will suit people wishing to travel within a budget. Currently, credit card holders can use their cards to withdraw cash; such a withdrawal is charged to accounts as a cash advance.With a prepaid cash card, travelers will pay a fee for the card in addition to its value. The fee will vary, depending on the member bank, according to Gregory Holmes, a Visa spokesman, who said, "It will be significantly cheaper than changing money overseas."

A record of the prepayment will be stored at a central Visa processing site, which will be available for authorization 24 hours a day. Using the card and a personal identification number, selected at the time of purchase, purchasers will be able to get cash up to the card's limit at any Visa automatic teller machine - currently 160,000 in 65 countries. If the card is lost, Visa promises that customers will receive a replacement anywhere in the world within 24 hours. According to a spokesman, customers will not be held liable for the value of a lost or stolen card.

Local currency will be dispensed in every country, at what Visa said will be a favorable exchange rate. Since more than one card could be issued on an account, several members of a family or business could use it. The cardholder can throw the card away when its value is used up, or receive a refund on any balance.

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Visitors to St. Louis can now see many of the city's cultural and historic sites by means of a new light-rail system. Among the train's 20 stops are the St. Louis riverfront and Laclede's Landing, a historic area within a two-minute walk of the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion. There is also a stop in Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair; Busch Stadium, home field of the St. Louis Cardinals; the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and the Central West End neighborhood, an area near Forest Park known for its antique shops, galleries, bookstores and cafes.

Visitors can buy a one-day pass for $3 on the 18-mile route, which is called Metrolink and was inaugurated this summer. There is also free travel between any of six downtown stations, on Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Passengers may travel between any two points on the MetroLink for $1, or buy a three-day, unlimited use pass for $7. An extension of the rail system to the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is scheduled to be completed in the middle of next year. For information, call (800)888-3861.

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