Visa Global Restructuring Agreement

Visa`s main competitor, both in the U.S. and international markets, was American Express. While in 1992 the Diners Club card held a 2.2 percent market share of U.S. credit card spending and the Sears Discover card held 6.5 percent, American Express retained a 19.4 percent share and worked hard to increase it. Visa and American Express have both stepped up competition for a larger U.S. market share by using the concept of “Ambush advertising” in their ads. Visa, one of the main sponsors of the 1992 Olympics, used its TV commercial to remind viewers that the Visa card was more widely accepted than American Express. For its part, American Express showed an Olympic theme, while using a clever game with the word “visa” to promote its own card at the expense of Visa. In January 1987, Visa was awarded a contract to operate Interlink, the largest retailer or point-of-sale (POS) network, which accepted debit cards in restaurants and stores in the United States.

Visa has managed the California-based Interlink transaction network since 1984 and was ahead of the competition in the nascent point of sale. In February of the same year, it was agreed to pay $5 million for a 33 per cent share in the system plus ATMs. By adding the 13,000 ATMs of Plus, the country`s second-largest ATM network, Visa has offered its cardholders access to nearly one-third of the 68,000 ATMs in the United States. The Plus system was fully adopted by Visa in 1993. . . .