By 1969, most independent bank charge cards had been converted over to either the BankAmericard or Master Charge cards.
Eventually, charge card issuing and processing became too large of a task for the banking industry to handle. That is what lead to the emergence of credit card associations such as Interlink Association, Western States Bank Card Association, and National BankAmericard Inc. Current associations include Visa and Master Card.
The next major changes in the credit card industry involved streamlining transaction processing and reducing credit card fraud. Electronic authorizations were developed in the early 1970s which allowed retailors the ability to check a customers credit limit 24 hours per day.
By the mid 1970s, the credit card industry started exploring international waters, but had some difficulty because of the name association; “America” in BankAmericard, for instance. This lead to the renaming of BankAmericard to Visa and Master Charge followed suit by changing its name to Master Card.
By 1979, electronic processing was improving. Electronic dial up terminals and magnetic strips on the back of credit cards allowed retailers to swipe the customer’s credit card through the dial up terminal, which accessed issuing bank card holder information. This process gave authorizations and processed settlement agreements in a mater of 1-2 minutes. An added benefit was paper reduction.
The early 1980s, gave birth to the first Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), which allowed consumers access to cash, and to make deposits, 24 hours a day across our nation and in other countries as well. Account users could obtain cash in many different currencies.
Since its existence, Visa has been a leader in credit card innovation. Because of this they have emerged as the world’s leading credit card association with over 1-billion cards being issued, and carrying over 50% of all credit card transactions conducted world wide.
“Visa (International) is a “not for profit” organization comprised of over 40,000 member Banks and MasterCard is a for “Profit” company who issues credit cards and sets and maintain rules for credit card acceptance and processing. They are both run by board members who are mostly high-level executives from their member banks and industry heavy hitters.”
There are five leaders in the credit card industry: Visa International, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diner’s Club. There are others trying to penetrate the industry like check processing companies, Euro Card, JCB and ATM companies but credit cards still account for over 90% of all e-commerce transactions !