Visa in History
When Bank of America launched the first consumer credit card (BankAmericard), the seeds were sown for Visa. In 1958 this was the first card accepted by large numbers of merchants and ignited a cashless revolution that would change consumer behaviour forever. In the late 60s, several other banks joined together to compete and launched the MasterCharge card.
As the banks battled for market domination, a new entity was formed (National Americard Inc – renamed Visa International in 1976) with Dee Hock at the helm. Among many other changes made under his leadership the original system of the merchant calling up to check the consumer’s credit balance was replaced. In 1973 the system became the first electronic authorisation system. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and 2008 saw Visa become the largest initial public offering in history. Nevertheless, like all big corporates, Visa knows that to keep ahead the answer lies in one word: innovation.
2019 was the year that London-based Fintech firm Curve consistently hit the headlines and its valuation soared to $250 million. Last year Curve raised $4M in 4 minutes with their crowdfunding campaign and their growth shows no sign of slowing.
So why is everyone talking about Curve?
Company Visit to Metro Bank with Insider London
Recent years have seen satisfaction fall below 60% with the UK’s big four banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds & RBS). This is one of several reasons often proffered for the rise of the challenger bank. KPMG reports that this is a worldwide movement though particularly concentrated in the UK because of its lack of saturation with big banks compared to other markets and its early adoption of digital banking.
As part of our spotlight series where we look at the most innovative companies, we headed over to Level 39 to catch up with Ricky Lee. An early member of the Revolut team, Ricky Lee went on to start a fresh new FinTech: Sync. The platform is going from strength to strength having recently won the prestigious Alibaba Group Global Competition at Hong Kong Fintech Week.