Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Foster City, California, United States. It facilitates electronic funds transfers throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit cards and debit cards. Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers. In 2008, according to The Nilson Report, Visa held a 38.3% market share of the credit card marketplace and 60.7% of the debit card marketplace in the United States. In 2009, Visa’s global network (known as VisaNet) processed 62 billion transactions with a total volume of $4.4 trillion.
Visa has operations across Australia, Oceania, Asia-Pacific, North America, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East. Visa Europe is a separate membership entity that is an exclusive licensee of Visa Inc.’s trademarks and technology in the European region, issuing cards such as Visa Debit.