Visa - Company Overview, History, Products

Updated:7 Oct, 2022

Visa Inc. is one of the most popular American multinational technology companies that is famous for its financial services and credit cards. Visa currently employs more than 22,000 employees worldwide and it is currently headquartered in San Francisco, California. Visa is famous for its financial services that enable transactions of electronic money throughout the world using its credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. Currently, Visa is one of the world's most valuable financial companies that provide credit card transaction services.

The CEO of Visa Inc is Alfred F Kelly Jr. Visa is currently listed on the New York stock exchange market. Visa has a market cap of more than 400 billion dollars and it generated a revenue of more than 24 billion dollars.

Visa partners with financial institutions like banks and other finance-related companies to brand their credit cards using the Visa logo on them to process the transactions that take place on those credit cards. Currently, Visa is the No. 1 company in terms of credit card transactions followed by MasterCard. Visa has generated a record for processing more than 100 billion credit card transactions all over the world with a total volume of more than 7 trillion dollars in 2014.

Many famous banks like Bank of America have teamed up with Visa to license their special edition credit cards for their customers. Most of the credit card transactions of Visa take place through its four data centers which are majorly located in Virginia, Colorado, London, and Singapore. These data centers have the capability to process 30,000 transactions in the world at the same time.

Visa is the second largest payment organization after the Chinese company China UnionPay due to its relatively low payment system transactions. Visa currently has more than 50% market share in the credit card business.

Visa Inc. - History & Overview

Visa was initially launched as a subsidiary of Bank of America in 1958 through its BankAmericard in California. This program was launched by Joseph Williams and became the world's most successful mass mailing of credit cards. Since Bank of America was quite early in its credit card program, BankAmericard gained success quite easily by getting a market share of more than 45%.

By 1959, Bank of America was successful in distributing their 2 million credit cards to the American audience and they were also being used by more than 20,000 merchants. By 1966, the BankAmericard became so successful that it was difficult for Bank of America to hide its profits in order to save taxes. BofA began to license their credit cards with other financial institutions outside of America like France, Canada, Japan, the UK, and Spain to compete with MasterCard which was forming strategic alliances with other banks throughout the world using ICA.

By 1968, Dee Hock, who was the manager at the National Bank of Commerce, launched his own version of BankAmericard in the market. He helped Bank of America to get licenses from other banks outside America through interchange transactions. Later on, BankAmericard merged into a new committee called National BankAmericard Inc (NBI) and Dee Hock became the President of it.

By 1972, NBI was able to gain licenses in more than 15 countries which helped it further to expand its business globally. Since NBI faced challenges in issuing credit cards in other countries which were associated with Bank of America, it changed its name to Visa Inc. for more public acceptance of its credit cards in 1976.

Visa filed for its IPO in 2006 on the New York stock exchange for 10 billion dollars. In 2007, Visa changed the name of its popular credit card to "BankAmericard Rewards Visa". Now in 2022, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Visa announced that it will be stopping all its business operations in Russia.

Visa Inc. - Products and Services:

Some of the prominent products/services of Visa Inc are as follows:

Credit Cards - The most prominent product for Visa is its credit cards which include multiple tiers like standard, gold, platinum, signature, infinite and infinite privilege.

Debit Cards - Visa debit cards allow users to use them in place of cash to make transactions. These are similar to the credit card but instead, the amount is directly transferred from the customer's account.

Visa Contactless - It is a popular contactless payment service technology by Visa called Visa PayWave that allows cardholders to make transactions using contactless technology.

mVisa - It is a mobile payment transaction service that allows you to make transactions using QR codes.

Wrapping Up:

Visa is one of the largest financial technology companies that is famous for its credit card, debit card, and payment transaction services. Visa is currently one of the most valuable electronic funds transfer companies followed by MasterCard. Visa has processed more than 100 billion transactions through its credit cards.

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