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Article of: Amber Carboni
Last updated: 24/01/2023

Visa is today one of the world's largest brands when it comes to credit cards. The vast majority both in New Zealand and internationally know Visa, which has millions of users of the Visa Card as a daily means of payment. Visa is an American brand with a very long history. Many banks and card issuers around the world cooperate with Visa. They have$edit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards.


The company behind the Visa brand and their means of payment; and credit card Visa Inc is a very large American company. Visa was founded back in 1958, that is, about 65 years ago and during these years has become a brand that has grown really big internationally. The Bank of America was originally called BankAmericards and was the Bank of America's$edit card program. During the 50s, most people in the middle class in the United States had different$edit cards that were linked to different retail chains. Something that in the long run became very impractical because it meant that you had to carry several different$edit cards and also pay several different invoices at the end of each month. The idea of this card was to develop a$Edit card that could be used everywhere and thus replace all the individual$edit cards.

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There were already several banks that had the same idea and wanted to carry out the same thing, but none had yet succeeded. The card that was and was closest to the goal at this stage was the Diners Club. The disadvantage of the$edit card was that users always had to pay the entire invoice at the end of the month, there was no possibility of installment payment. However, Jospeh P. Williams, who worked as head of the Customer Services Research Group at Bank of America, was successful in developing this product.

First test of what would become the Visa Card

After Williams and his team had carefully studied individual retail chains that had successful$edit cards, it had come up with a card that they thought would work. To test the card, they chose to send the card out to 65,000 households in Fresco, completely unannounced. The reason that Fresco was the area chosen was that it was considered large enough for the test to be important, but still small enough to be able to have it under control.

Continued in the 1960s

This first Test took place in 1958 and it was considered really successful. But it was also confirmed that another bank was about to release its own$edit card, which gave Bank of America a little bit of panic. However, things were moving forward for BankAmericard and they were accepted by about 20,000 different merchants.

But around the same time, big problems began to appear. Williams had never before worked in the loan department at a bank, and it turned out that he had been a bit well credulous. It turned out that 22% of the cards, and not only 4% as previously thought, were illegal and included in some$iminality. Something that led to huge losses.

Williams and his team, however, left what was then thought to be a sinking ship. But Bank of America invested heavily and would eventually succeed in saving themselves.

BankAmericard becomes Visa

In 1970 the name Visa was registered, but it was not until 1976 that the Visa Card was issued. During the 70s, Bank of America had struggled and succeeded in establishing itself in the American market. In 1972, they were licensed in as many as 15 countries, but had not yet succeeded internationally. It was due to several different factors, but one of them was that at this point there were several different similar networks in different countries. Something that led to some difficulties.

This led to the fact that in 1976 BankAmericard, Barclaycard, Carte Bleue, Chargex, Sumitomo card and others united the network and together formed a single network – what came to be called Visa.

The Name Visa

The name Visa itself didn't really have a backstory. It was created by company founder Dee Hock, who thought that the name would be familiar in many countries and that it signified universal acceptance.

View the present

Today Visa is a very large international company. In 2022, they had revenues of $ 29,310 million and 26,500 employees worldwide. Since 2012, they have been headquartered in Foster City, California. In 2019, however, they announced that they plan to move their headquarters back to San Francisco by 2024.

There is no exact figure on how many users of the Visa card there are in the world but according to data from Visa Inc. In 2021, the company had more than 4 million debit cards in circulation and in the same year, over 150 million payments were made with Visa debit cards including their spirit payment solutions.