Visa is a multinational financial services corporation that specializes in electronic payment systems. It was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Foster City, California. The company provides a range of payment services and technologies, including credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and digital payment solutions.
Visa is one of the largest and most widely recognized payment brands in the world, with a large network of banks, merchants, and consumers who use its services. The company is known for its commitment to innovation and security, and is widely considered a leader in the electronic payment industry.
Visa's payment network is used for billions of transactions each year, and the company is committed to ensuring the safety and security of these transactions. Visa has invested heavily in developing secure and reliable payment systems, and is widely recognized for its commitment to fraud prevention and security.
The company is publicly traded and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is widely followed by investors and analysts, and is considered one of the largest and most successful financial services companies in the world. Also, Visa is part of the eTrade Alliance and supported by USAID.
On September 18, 1958, Bank of America (BofA) officially launched its BankAmericard credit card program in Fresno, California. In the weeks leading up to the launch of BankAmericard, BofA had saturated Fresno mailboxes with an initial mass mailing (or “drop”, as they came to be called) of 65,000 unsolicited credit cards.
BankAmericard was the brainchild of BofA’s in-house product development think tank, the Customer Services Research Group, and its leader, Joseph P. Williams. Williams convinced senior BofA executives in 1956 to let him pursue what became the world’s first successful mass mailing of unsolicited credit cards (actual working cards, not mere applications) to a large population. Williams’ pioneering accomplishment was that he brought about the successful implementation of the all-purpose credit card (in the sense that his project was not canceled outright), not in coming up with the idea.
By the mid-1950s, the typical middle-class American already maintained revolving credit accounts with several different merchants, which was clearly inefficient and inconvenient due to the need to carry so many cards and pay so many separate bills each month. In 1968, a manager at the National Bank of Commerce (later Rainier Bancorp), Dee Hock, was asked to supervise that bank’s launch of its own licensed version of BankAmericard in the Pacific Northwest market. Although Bank of America had cultivated the public image that BankAmericard’s troubled startup issues were now safely in the past, Hock realised that the BankAmericard licensee program itself was in terrible disarray because it had developed and grown very rapidly in an ad hoc fashion. For example, “interchange” transaction issues between banks were becoming a very serious problem, which had not been seen before when Bank of America was the sole issuer of BankAmericards. Hock suggested to other licensees that they form a committee to investigate and analyze the various problems with the licensee program; they promptly made him the chair of that committee. After lengthy negotiations, the committee led by Hock was able to persuade Bank of America that a bright future lay ahead for BankAmericard — outside Bank of America.
In June 1970, Bank of America gave up control of the BankAmericard program. The various BankAmericard issuer banks took control of the program, creating National BankAmericard Inc. (NBI), an independent Delaware corporation that would be in charge of managing, promoting, and developing the BankAmericard system within the United States. In other words, BankAmericard was transformed from a franchising system into a jointly controlled consortium or alliance, like its competitor Master Charge. Hock became NBI’s first president and CEO.
In 1976, the directors of IBANCO determined that bringing the various international networks together into a single network with a single name internationally would be in the best interests of the corporation; however, in many countries, there was still great reluctance to issue a card associated with Bank of America, even though the association was entirely nominal in nature. For this reason, in 1976, BankAmericard, Barclaycard, Carte Bleue, Chargex, Sumitomo Card, and all other licensees united under the new name, “Visa”, which retained the distinctive blue, white, and gold flag. NBI became Visa USA and IBANCO became Visa International. The term Visa was conceived by the company’s founder, Dee Hock. He believed that the word was instantly recognizable in many languages in many countries and that it also denoted universal acceptance.
In October 2007, Bank of America announced it was resurrecting the BankAmericard brand name as the “BankAmericard Rewards Visa”.
The mission of Visa is to remove barriers and connect more people to the global economy. They strive to be the best way to pay and be paid, helping to make the world a better place. Visa is committed to sustainable efforts, responsible operations, and equality in the workplace. Additionally, they aim to provide a reliable and secure payment network that connects people around the world.
Visa's vision is to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere, by developing innovative payment solutions that are secure, easy to use, and promote financial inclusion. It aims to create a world where people can conduct transactions with confidence and ease, regardless of location or device. It is committed to promoting financial inclusion and access, and to making it easier for people in underbanked or unbanked communities to participate in the global economy.
Julie B. Rottenberg (General Counsel)
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer)
Rajat Taneja (President Technology)
Chris Clark (Regional President, Asia Pacific)
Kelly Mohan Tulliver (Vice Chair, Chief People and Administrative Officer)
Oliver Jenkyn (Group President and Regional President, North America)
Charlotte Hogg (Chief Executive Officer, Europe)
Michelle Gethers-Clark (Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility)
Paul D. Fabara (Chief Risk Officer)
Jack Forestell (Group President and Chief Product Officer)
Ryan McInerney (President)
Chris Newkirk (Chief Strategy Officer)
Vasant Prabhu (Vice Chair, Chief Financial Officer)
Visa offers through its issuing members the following types of cards:
Debit Cards (pay from a checking/savings account)
Credit cards (pay monthly payments with or without interest depending on a customer paying on time)
Prepaid cards (pay from a cash account that has no check-writing privileges)
Visa operates the Plus automated teller machine network and the Interlink EFTPOS point-of-sale network, which facilitate the “debit” protocol used with debit cards and prepaid cards. They also provide commercial payment solutions for small businesses, midsize and large corporations, and governments.
Visa teamed with Apple in September 2014, to incorporate a new mobile wallet feature into Apple's new iPhone models, enabling users to more readily use their Visa, and other credit/debit cards.
Other VISA products include:
VISA Cash: A Visa-branded stored-value card.
VISA Contactless (formerly payWave): In September 2007, Visa introduced Visa payWave, a contactless payment technology feature that allows cardholders to wave their card in front of contactless payment terminals without the need to physically swipe or insert the card into a point-of-sale device. This is similar to the Mastercard Contactless service and the American Express ExpressPay, with both using RFID technology.
In Europe, Visa has introduced the V Pay card, which is a chip-only and PIN-only debit card. In Australia, take up has been the highest in the world, with more than 50% of in store Visa transactions now made via Visa payWave.
mVISA: mVisa is a mobile payment app allowing payment via smartphones using QR code, first introduced in India in 2015. It was later expanded to a number of other countries, including in Africa and South East Asia.
Visa Checkout: In 2013, Visa launched Visa Checkout, an online payment system that removes the need to share card details with retailers. The Visa Checkout service allows users to enter all their personal details and card information, then use a single username and password to make purchases from online retailers.
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer )
Financial and Banking