Visa is an international payment system through which individuals, commercial organizations, banks and government agencies make electronic payments. Now the average turnover on all Visa cards in the world is about $ 4.8 trillion. You can pay with a Visa card in more than 200 countries around the world.
HISTORY OF CREATION
In 1958 Bank of America (USA) issued the BankAmeriCard. The main colors of her design were blue, white and gold. The BankAmeriCard Service Corporation was created specifically to support the new product. She not only handled card service at Bank of America, but also sold licenses to issue cards to other banks, including overseas.
If in the American territory the BankAmeriCard card quickly gained popularity, in other countries it was not so productive. The face of the card bore the name Bank of America, and against the backdrop of the height of the Vietnam War, residents of many countries did not want to see America and its main bank mentioned on their payment cards.
In this regard, BankAmeriCard Service Corporation decided to change the name of BankAmeriCard to something simpler, shorter and more capacious. It was also decided that the new name will not have a mention of America and will be equally easy to pronounce in any language of the world. This is how the word VISA was coined . The first purchase, made using a card with a new sonorous name, was made on July 26, 1976.
In 2007, Visa Inc. was established, which is now the official legal representative and owner of the payment system. The company has 6 divisions:
- US Region (USA);
- AP Region (Asia-Pacific region);
- Canada Region (Canada);
- Visa CEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Near and Middle East);
- Visa Europe (Western Europe);
- LAC Region (Latin America).
VISA IN RUSSIA
The first Visa cards appeared in the Europe in 1988. Their first holders were members of the Soviet Olympic team, who went to the games in Seoul. The cards were issued and serviced by the Intourcreditcart division of the Intourist company. A year later, in 1989, Euro Bank became the first bank to issue Visa cards in the Europe. The first ATM accepting Visa cards was installed in 1992 in Moscow.
Currently, every major bank issues Visa cards in Europa (in 2019, the system has more than 80 issuing banks). The annual turnover in retail outlets reaches 7 billion €.
In the early 2000s, just over half of all bank cards on Earth (57%) had the Visa payment system. For example, the main competitor – the MasterCard system – accounted for a third of plastic (26%). In third place were American Express cards (13%).
But already 10 years later (in 2010) the market was “captured” by the cards of the Chinese payment system Union Pay. A third of the cards from the entire world turnover fell on the Visa system and a third – on Union Pay. True, Visa continued to lead in terms of total payments. The market for Visa cards in Europa is on average 43-46% of all issued cards.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VISA AND MASTERCARD
Both companies are giants in their respective fields. But the main difference between their systems is that the main currency of the Visa system is US dollars . MasterCard has two main currencies: euros and dollars. This is important when making payments in a currency other than the card account currency. The Visa system always converts through dollars. At MasterCard, the conversion is made via euros or dollars (depending on the issuing bank).
For example, you have a ruble Visa card. You are abroad and want to pay for your purchase in US dollars. In this case, the conversion will be made directly from € to dollars. If the purchase is in a different currency (euros or local money), then € are first converted into dollars, and then dollars will be converted into the purchase currency.
When paying with a ruble MasterCard card abroad, the purchase price can be immediately converted into dollars or euros, depending on the card billing currency (this is the exchange currency set by the bank that issued the card).
Thus, Visa cards are most common in countries where the main currency is the US dollar . As for cards issued by European banks, the rule applies to them – when making purchases with a Visa card in Europa, the billing currency is always €. Therefore, when buying something in European stores using a Visa ruble card, the conversion does not take place.
TYPES AND COST OF VISA CARDS
Most often, banks offer to issue a Visa card of the Electron, Classic, Gold or Platinum level. But also Visa cards are issued: Virtual card, Signature, Infinite, Black card. For the business segment are issued: Business Credit / Debit card, Corporate, Fleet. Also for narrow destinations there are Visa Prepair cards, TravelMoney, Buxx, Horizon, Payroll and others.
The higher the level of the card, the more expensive the cost of its maintenance. As of 2019, the annual commission for servicing a Classic card averages 750-1500 €, and a Gold card – 1000-3500 €. Service of premium cards will cost 7,000-10,000 €. At the same time, banks often cancel this commission when maintaining a certain account balance or when making purchases for a set tariff amount.
VISA BENEFITS FOR CARDHOLDERS
In addition to the main functionality of Visa cards, i.e. using them as a means of payment and for withdrawing cash or storing funds in the account, cardholders also become participants in various loyalty programs. Visa itself also provides many benefits to its cardholders: discounts and gifts from partners. You can get acquainted with all the features and promotions for Visa cards in detail on the official website of the payment system www.visa.com