Visa Credit Card AccountVisas credit card account
In the first 18 years visas were not a "visa". Launched in 1958 as the "BankAmericard", the trademark that later became known as Visa. The BankAmericard was founded by the Bank of America California resident Bank of America software group. BankAmericard was developed to make payments more effective by using charge and customer card components.
This was done by decreasing the number of labor-intensive checks that had to be processed and by substituting several credit repo balances that many Americans kept with certain dealers with a unique credit card (and a unique month's bill). As a result of the wide acceptance this brought, there was a strong need from traders to take BankAmericard, but also a loss of around 25% on their credit card loans (around $160,000,000,000 by current standards).
In spite of the early start-up difficulties, Bank of America saved Bank America with some much-needed changes to its credit policies. Although the US bank limits were both viable and beloved, they did mean that the Bank of America could not sell the asset beyond California's borders. However, these limitations did not preclude Bank of America from licensing the Bank American Card for further use.
From 1966, localized BankAmericard copies were created in the USA and Great Britain (with Barclaycard). Canada, France and Japan continue to hold foreign licenses (although seven years after JCB's first credit card was issued in Japan). In order to continue its growth and because the competing Master Charge platforms functioned as a syndicate, Bank of America abandoned US oversight of BankAmericard in 1970.
BankAmericard remained under global supervision, but in 1976, following the introduction of digital authorization (which allowed cross-border payment transactions), it opted to have the various BankAmericard editions better serviced under a unified name. The Bank of America could have been the natural option, but in the deep aftermath of the Common Market, such powerful links with America could have been counter-productive.
In addition, American Express had been building an ubiquitous family tree with traveller's checks for years, and the mark could well have been mistaken by non-English-speaking people. The Bank of America therefore opted for the term "visa", an abbreviation that is recognised worldwide, and a globally renowned trademark was created. What does Visa do for a living? First and foremost, Visa is a means of making payments, which facilitates transaction between cardholders and cardholders.
In contrast to some of its rivals (e.g. American Express) Visa never borrows cash. If a cardholder uses a Visa card for a transaction, Visa's technological infrastructures connect the merchants with the card-issuing banks, process the authorization of the transaction and organize the processing of the transaction.
In order to perform these functions, Visa will receive part of the exchange (merchants paying per transfer to receive Visa). Visas also earn some extra cash by handling overseas business which usually causes higher rates and commissions than local ones. When can I use a Visa credit card? Practically speaking, in the EU it is now up to the trader to choose whether to allow debits, credits or both.
Visa's badge, which has hardly seen any change since its introduction, can be found on all Visa card holders. Each Visa card number (including co-branding cards) begins with number 4 as defined by the American Bankers Association (which maintains the issuer identification number base).