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The History of Visa Credit Cards

The history of Visa credit cards is a long and interesting one. Back in 1958, Bank of America introduced the BankAmericard. This card first made its appearance in California, since the bank was located in the California city of San Francisco. This was the first time a card that was accepted by many merchants has ever been introduced and consumers were amazed by this advancement.

In 1966, the bank decided to expand beyond California and formed the BankAmericard Service Corporation. In this way, it was able to issue credit cards to banks outside of California. Small banks throughout the United States jumped on board and offered these cards to consumers. By 1969, almost all banks were using this card, which later became known as Visa, or the newly offered competitor: MasterCard.

The following year, the National BankAmericard, Inc., or NBI was formed. By 1973, NBI introduced the first electronic card authorization system, called BASE I, to capable of being used worldwide. This lowered the previous authorization time of 5 minutes to less than 1, which significantly increased the speed of merchant transactions and made the credit card an even more attractive option for consumers. BASE II was introduced in 1974 and made the transactions even faster.

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