Today, Visa credit cards are the most accepted cards in the world. More people have a Visa card than any other credit card currently offered. Visa has become a brand name that is familiar to almost anyone in the world. Due to the card’s great success and popularity, many people now use it to make retail purchases, pay bills or shop online.
The idea of making a credit card that can be universally accepted for retail payments started in 1958, when a Bank of America branch manager was walking by a store. He noticed the clerks were preparing invoices to send to their customers for the purchases that they made during the month. At that time, certain stores did offer the privilege of buying merchandise on credit to some of their regular customers, such as business owners buying supplies at an office equipment store. However, as the invoices had to be tallied by hand and were often for relatively low sums of money. While being convenient to the customer, this caused a lot of time, effort and money being dedicated to preparing and collecting invoices.
The bank manager’s goal was to introduce a central payment system that would use the bank’s computer to create the invoices. While originally, the project was meant to be deployed only in certain cities in the state of California, Bank of America soon made agreements with other financial institutions in the United States to make use of their system, at the time called BankAmericard. The system soon spread to other countries, first in Canada, the UK and France.
Finally, in the late 1970’s the card became global, and was renamed Visa. This was the time when Visa credit cards started becoming more and more known and accepted as a method of payment.
There are hundreds of banks in the United States that currently issue Visa cards. Today, these credit cards come in many different types and each offer some distinct advantages. For example, there are Gold and Platinum cards, which typically have a higher spending limit assigned than a regular card, and in many cases offer some unique advantages, such as travel insurance or let you collect rewards, like frequent flier miles, for every dollar that is charged to the card. You can use a Visa card in over 150 countries around the world, in many establishments, as well as to order products and services over the phone or via the internet.
Visa credit cards let you get the item you want without needing to carry large amounts of cash. You receive an itemized statement at the end of the month detailing all transactions. You then have the option of paying the amount in full, or paying a part equal or greater than the minimum payment, and then paying off the balance over time. In that case, if payment is not made in full, the bank will charge interest on the amount financed. The interest rate varies according to the bank and the type of card that you hold.
With worldwide acceptance, Visa credit cards are a convenient way to pay for purchases, large or small.