Visa at 60: 6 Things You Need to Know About the Global Payments Giant


Global payments card provider, Visa is celebrating its 60th year of operation. The general-purpose credit card is, in fact, the world’s 2nd largest and most prominent payments network (after China’s UnionPay). This is because a large portion of the global population including merchants and customers use daily to make transactions.

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To celebrate this feat achieved by the company, here are 6 facts you didn’t know about this mega financial transactions company.

  • Visa, which stands for Visa International Service Association, started out its life in 1958 as a bank — Bank of America, issuing a credit card product called the BankAmericard. About 60,000 copies of this card were mailed out to people across California.

  • Invented by Dee Hock, an official of a local bank in Washington State that was franchised by the Bank of America to issue its credit card brand, BankAmericard. He later went on to become the company’s first CEO.

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  • The main idea behind Visa (formerly Bank Americard) was to have one type of card that would be accepted by any type of merchant anywhere in the Country. And soon it had expanded to have a presence internationally. Bank of America and then decided to form a new corporate structure for the card. This gave birth to VISA.

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  • Today, Visa counts over 3.3 billion cards globally, more than 46 million merchants and 16,000 financial institutions as part of its network and operating across 200 countries.
  • Currently, the company processes 65,000 transactions per second in more than 160 currencies to the tune of $10.8 trillion every year. It occupies the second position as the largest card payment organization with 50 percent of the market share in its kitty. China’s UnionPay occupies the first place primarily because of its domestic market’s population

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  • Security for its card holders is very key for Visa and as such, the 3-digit code which is known as the “card verification value” or “CVV” found on the back of the payment card provides greater security and was first introduced by the company. The information can be provided when making purchases. It makes sure that every transaction is authentic.

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