History of Visa

Visa is a large part of the electronic payments industry itself as has helped change the way we live our lives.
  • In 1914, Western Union issued the first consumer credit card to preferred company customers as an offer of an array of special services.
  • A large number of non-financial companies, including hotels, department stores and gas companies, issued credit cards to their customers in the first decades of the 20th century
  • The Diners Club card was the first credit card to be accepted by different merchants in 1950
  • In 1951, Franklin National Bank of Long Island, New York, issued a card that was accepted by local merchants, and soon approximately 100 other banks began to issue cards.
  • In 1958 the Bank of America launched its BankAmericard program in Fresno, California. The card was an instant success.
  • By 1965, the institution had already subscribed licensing agreements with a group of banks outside California, allowing them to issue BankAmericard. At the same time, another group of banks in Illinois joined forces in the U.S. East Coast to create Master Charge.
  • By 1970, over 1,400 banks were offering BankAmericard or Master Charge cards, and bank cards were already generating US$3.8 billion in sales volume.
  • In 1970, Bank of America gave up control of the BankAmericard program. BankAmericard Issuer banks took control of the program, creating National BankAmericard Inc. (NBI), an independent non-stock corporation, which would be in charge of managing, promoting and developing the BankAmericard system within the U.S.
  • Outside the U.S., Bank of America continued to issue licenses to banks to issue BankAmericard. By 1972, licenses had been granted in 15 countries.
  • In 1974, IBANCO, a multinational member corporation, was founded in order to manage the international BankAmericard program.
  • In 1976 / 1977,NBI changed the BankAmericard name to Visa, retaining its distinctive blue, white and gold flag. The name Visa was a simple, memorable name that is pronounced the same way in every language. It is thought that this name change occurred as there was still reluctance to issue a card associated with Bank of America.
  • In the 1980s with the rise of mail and telephone order transactions, merchants didn't have to see the actual card. Previously the cards were used only in a physical face-to-face transactions.
  • In 1986, Visa began an affiliation with the PLUS ATM network, opening the way for cardholders to get easy access to cash. As the decade closed, more and more banks had started to issue debit cards, providing bank account holders with direct access to their money.
  • In the 1990s, the technological revolution changed the traditional financial institution.
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