Visa (NYSE: V) operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network and is one of the most recognized global financial services brands.
Visa can process credit card transactions worldwide through its VisaNet platform. The company's card is ubiquitous. It is accepted at 29 million merchants and 1.2 million ATMs worldwide. Like competitor Mastercard, Visa is paid a small fee by banks that issued the card every time a cardholder makes a purchase. The banks carry all of the credit risk relating to whether or not the cardholder can ultimately pay their balance. Visa simply processes the transaction and does not bear any credit risk.
Demographic trends seem to be strongly in Visa's favor with the use of cash and checks in decline as consumers pay for everything from gas to groceries to a night out on the town with plastic.