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Visa the Power of an Idea Hardcover – Apr 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: West Group; First Edition edition (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0159004799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0159004791
  • Product Dimensions: 30.6 x 23.8 x 3.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,640,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Visa & Mastercard (a.k.a. MC) are one of the major success stories in the world. And why? Because Visa & MC, in many ways, redefined what "money" is. And they did so on a monumental scale the likes of which hasn't been seen in a long long time. In case it isn't clear, visa & mc are such a major success because they regulate the transactional behavior of the currency - forcing both sides to behave & act honorably. No other currency comes close to the elegance & "user friendliness" of visa or mc.
Why carry cash or checks if you can get a visa or mc? Lose a visa or mc? No problem if you exercise due diligence in reporting it lost/stolen (not the same with cash or checks unfortunately). Order something & it doesn't get delivered? No problem more often than not (with no attorney needed) when paid for with visa or mc, again as long as due diligence is exercised in reporting the problem (not the same with cash or checks unfortunately). The list of benefits associated with visa & mc "currency" over cash & checks goes on & on. Visa & mc are available today, everywhere.
Literally don't leave home without a visa or mc (the truth of that ad phrase is ridiculously deep).
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If you're looking for the more positive side of the Visa story, or of the impact of American Banking systems, this is a great start. Not a lot about statistical results and analysis, this is more of a story about the people side of building one of the largest global enterprises on the planet, and how that came about during the past 3 decades. Paul Chutkow is not a finanical analyst or banker, so he brings a fresh perspective to the story, and it's a very compelling read. This is also a story about leadership and vision, with the leading characted being Dee Hok. Paul Chutkow has captured many insights into the strategies in building Visa, and how the obstacles were overcome. The pictures of course are wonderful, and the historical views of many different phases of consumerism make this an important read for the student of payment systems. With the new dot-com startups of the day scratching their way in the markets, such as PayPal, BillPoint, and so many others, this book helps us develop a keener appreciation for the visionary and dramtic efforts of the 'fore-fathers' of the payments industry. I really enjoyed learning about the battles Dee Hok worked through to create that little start-up, to eventually be called Visa. The business development and marketing decisions in working with the International Olympic Committee are important for any marketer, and I was introduced to some important people in the the history of credit card fraud. I do recommend this book whole-heartedly, and I will be referring my asociates working in the payments and banking industries read it.
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By A Customer on April 27 2001
This is a very impressive book on many fronts. The author obviously spent quality time with Visa's people and files, because the story he recounts is very human and absorbing. You read a lot about the ills of credit cards these days, but this book sheds new light on the value and impact of bank cards. The early chapters on A.P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of America, show his passion for bringing banking services to immigrants and working people. The book tells how Giannini changed banking entirely and financed Hollywood, Walt Disney, the Golden Gate Bridge and the building of California. I know that Time Magazine named Giannini one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. His story gives nobility of purpose to the 1950s creation of BankAmericard that later became Visa, because it was an extension of putting capital into the hands of the people. Chutkow focuses on the human side of this unfolding drama and the real-life characters involved. I don't know of any previous book that has covered this story as well. I particularly liked the chapters on the shadowy world of fighting credit card fraud. His story about Visa's staff in Asia battling "6 Fingers," a crime ring boss, is worth the price of admission. Chutkow also reveals interesting inside stuff on Visa's sponsorships of the Olympics and its battles with MasterCard and American Express. Perhaps most impressive of all is the quiet role Visa has been playing in developing countries to create the payments systems that are fostering dramatic economic growth and social change. The takeaway impression is that Visa's pedigree truly is the card of the people. This is an excellent and beautifully presented book.
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