The cashless revolution begins with Visa in 1958 when Bank of America launched the first general-purpose consumer credit card, BankAmericard, in Fresno, California. In 1965, Bank of America started allowing other banks outside California to sign licensing agreements for the card.
In the following years, many banks across the nation keep on licensing BankAmericard. In the late 1960s, one of the heads of the licensee banks, Dee Hock, suggests that all banks trading the card should form a joint venture association.
The objective was to enable members to tap the benefits of a centralized payments system and compete moderately for their gains. This suggestion works and, Hock became the president of the association.
In 1970, the control of BankAmericard was passed by Bank of America to the various banks issuing the card. A newly established National BankAmericard Incorporation (NBI) is one of the issuer banks and it worked as an autonomous non-stock corporation for managing, promoting, and developing the BankAmericard system in the US.
In 1974, IBANCO was established - a multinational member corporation that manages the global BankAmericard program. In 1976, the IBANCO directors decided to unite several international banks into a single global network with one name. Therefore, NBI renamed the BankAmericard to Visa USA in the same year, and IBANCO became Visa International.
The journey continued and today, Visa has about 1.46 billion cards in circulation that are accepted in over 160 countries. Visa cards are generating more than $4.3 trillion in sales.