Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 4, 2011 - Computers - 240 pages
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Although those born after the 1990s might never have known a time without them, payment cards and the electronic and computing networks they activate went through an explicit process of creation and adoption—a process which actively shaped these ubiquitous systems into what they are today. To understand why these systems ended up the way they did, one first needs to understand their origins, and how decisions made in their early years fundamentally shaped the way they evolved.

Electronic Value Exchange recaptures the origins of one of these systems in particular: the electronic payment network known as VISA. The book examines in detail the transformation of the VISA 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. Following an introductory chapter that sets the context, chapters adhere roughly to chronological order, building the story in a logical fashion.

Topics and features:

  • Provides a history of the VISA system from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, charting the design, creation and adoption of the system during its foundation years and most prolific period of innovation
  • Presents a historical narrative based on research gathered from personal documents and interviews with key actors who designed, built, and participated in the VISA payment system
  • 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

This insightful work will be of interest to researchers from a range of disciplines, from historians of technology, business and finance, to economists and sociologists, as well as the general reader. The use of academic jargon is kept to a minimum, and brief explanations are provided of useful concepts from science and technology studies for the benefit of those without a background in this field.

 

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This is an authoritative, well researched piece which is written with the general reader in mind. So quite enjoyable and easy while not loosing depth of argument.
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University (Wales)

Contents

Money Credit and Payments in America
1
Dee Hock and the Creation of the Organization
29
Staffing Operating Regulations and Advertising
53
BASE
71
BASE II and III
91
Organizational and Technical Growth
109
Encoding Standards and Merchant Dial Terminals
135
EFT and the Debit Card
157
Controversies and the End of an Era
179
Toward a General Sociotechnical History of Payment Systems
199
Appendix Core System Statistics
218
References
223
Index
236
Copyright

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