Business Execution Hall of Fame: VISA Inc.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to research VISA Inc.  for a keynote speech I was giving to a credit card manufacturing user group.  I think it is fair to say that we all tend to take credit cards for granted.  When it comes time to use a credit card or a debit card, we assume that the process is going to work flawlessly time after time.  And, there are very rare exceptions when the system doesn’t work.

VISA Inc. does business on a scale that is hard to comprehend.   As of mid-2008, VISA:

  • Processes 81 billion transactions per year
  • They settle $3.8 trillion per year
  • They connect to over 16,000 financial institutions
  • They have a network of 29 million merchants

But, VISA is hardly in a steady state.  They currently process over 65,000 changes to their I.T. infrastructure annually.

The Chief Information Officer, Mike Dreyer, suggests that VISA is a technology company.  Interesting…I had always viewed VISA as a financial services company.  Mike is right.  Their super high-reliability network globally enables the VISA brand 24/7/365

What role would credit cards play in our global economy if there was a 1 in 10, 1 in 20 or even 1 in 100 chance that a merchant would be unable to process a charge?   We’d still be writing checks and have the burden they create for us as well as the financial institutions.

So, for absolutely superb business execution, VISA Inc. is our first inductee in Gardner & Associates Consulting’s Business Execution Hall of Fame.

What do you think?

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting www.gardnerandassoc.com

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