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Company: Visa Inc.

Brand Value: $121,692 Million

Headquarters: Foster City, CA

Category: Payments

Year formed: 1958


Visa is the world’s second-largest payments company with a 50% market share outside China (where Union Pay has a dominant position). The current company began life as the BankAmericard in 1958, and earlier grappled with a poor public image. In 1976 the bank spun the brand off, selecting a name that emphasized its universal acceptance. Contrary to popular belief, Visa does not issue credit cards and rarely interacts with individual consumers. Instead, it provides processing services through its Visanet network to clients in the financial services industry. It has traditionally marketed itself under the tagline “everywhere you want to be.” In recent years, it underscored that reputation by entering into partnerships with USAA and Costco. It has also seen a surge in transactions in India, as the country has made moves to curtail the use of cash. Currently, the brand is planning to become even more universal with a wearable payment sticker that customers can place on their bodies. Since Visa became a publicly traded company in 2008, it has outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 roughly threefold, with the growth coming largely thanks to global consumers’ growing preference for electronic payments.