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60,000 credit cards mailed to unassuming customers: How Visa was founded 64 years ago

60,000 credit cards mailed to unassuming customers: How Visa was founded 64 years ago

Anchor and newsman Jon Erlichman said in a tweet that in the beginning, 60,000 credit cards were just mailed to unassuming residents in California in an attempt to get them to use the payment system.

Visa's journey from 64 years ago Visa's journey from 64 years ago

As they say, all big things come from small beginnings. Visa, that was founded 64 years ago on September 18 also started off small. One won't be surprised if many laughed the idea off in the beginning when they heard of something called a 'credit card'.

Anchor and newsman Jon Erlichman said in a tweet that in the beginning, 60,000 credit cards were just mailed to unassuming residents in California in an attempt to get them to use the payment system. The experiment, he said, was called “the drop”.

“Visa was founded this day in 1958. It was an experiment called “the drop.” 60,000 credit cards were mailed to unassuming residents in California. Overnight, people had credit lines equivalent to $5,000 today. They could buy things without going to the bank & pay it off later,” he said in a tweet on September 18.

Visa began its journey with the Bank of America in 1958 when it launched the consumer credit card programme for middle-class consumers and small to medium-sexed merchants in the US. Bank of America launched the ‘BankAmericard’, a paper card with a limit of $300. In 1973, National BankAmericard, that was incorporated in 1970, launched the first electronic authorisation system, as well as an electronic clearing and settlement system.

The company expanded globally in 1974, and the debit card was introduced in 1975.

In 1976, BankAmericard was renamed Visa. In 1983, Visa launched the automatic teller machine (ATM) to provide cash 24x7 to clients across the world.

Visa issued its 1 billionth card in 2001. In 2008, the company – Visa Inc – went public in one of the largest IPOs in US history. In 2016, Visa completed the acquisition of Visa Europe.

Currently, Visa operates in more than 200 countries, with services available across devices.

Also read: RBI's debit, credit card rule to change from October 1; check all details here