Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System (History of Computing)

Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System (History of Computing)

David L. Stearns

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 1849961387

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Electronic Value Exchange examines in detail the transformation of the VISA electronic payment system from a collection of non-integrated, localized, paper-based bank credit card programs into the cooperative, global, electronic value exchange network it is today.  Topics and features: provides a history of the VISA system from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s; presents a historical narrative based on research gathered from personal documents and interviews with key actors; investigates, for the first time, both the technological and social infrastructures necessary for the VISA system to operate; supplies a detailed case study, highlighting the mutual shaping of technology and social relations, and the influence that earlier information processing practices have on the way firms adopt computers and telecommunications; examines how “gateways” in transactional networks can reinforce or undermine established social boundaries, and reviews the establishment of trust in new payment devices.

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Hock, D.: Electronic funds transfer or electronic value exchange? Paper presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Conference, Melvin Village, New Hampshire (October 1974) Hock, D.: Address Before the American Bankers Association 1984 Telecommunications and Financial Networks Conference (February 1984) Kutler, J.: Phoenix merchant fights Visa debit fee. American Banker, p. 1 (9 June 1977) Kutler, J.: Age of the debit card is coming. American Banker, p. 1 (9 March 1981) Lee, W.: Visa

those paying with a check to provide a major credit card as a secondary proof of identity. What made that piece of plastic an acceptable form of economic identification was not the embossed account number or expiration date: it was the marks, the authority behind them, and the trust the merchants placed in that authority. Lastly, trust in the authority behind a payment card system, its corresponding marks, and the value-exchange rules represented by those marks, can falter just as easily as it

would be allocated one Director in order to ensure that all regions were equally represented. Five “at large” Directors would be elected by the general membership. One Director would be elected by the smallest banks in the system. Any bank that generated more than 15 percent of the sales volume would be able to appoint their own Director.73 The president of the new organization (which would be Hock) would also have a seat on the Board, but could not serve as chairperson. The functional

aspects of the system, describing in detail NBI’s first computerized authorization and clearing systems, known mostly by their acronyms BASE I and II. NBI was of course not the only organization building such systems in the early 1970s, and these chapters put their systems in the context of other similar efforts by individual banks, independent processors, and bank service organizations. Chapter 5 also discusses NBI’s first significant technical failure, a program intended to run within the

even in those days, thought this was a worldwide system, so we ran everything worldwide. We didn’t arbitrarily pick 5:00 PM. We said 5:00 PM is GMT 0:00.28 Although the original BASE II provided nightly clearing and settlement for the US member banks only, as we shall see, it was eventually expanded to be the clearinghouse for all members worldwide. Making Up With IBM The original capacity target for BASE II was to clear one million transactions within their allotted 12-hour processing

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