> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: In the early to middle 1960's, as VISA
> franchises were first getting started in Chicago, they were known as
> 'Bank Americard'; named after Bank of America which was then a one or
> two branch bank in San Francisco. First National Bank of Chicago were
> the idiots responsible for VISA (Bank Americard) taking such a
> dreadful hit from fraud in the first few years.
I don't know about the First National Bank of Chicago, but Bank of
America was not then a "one or two branch bank." It was a massive
operation with branches all over the West, many through subsidiaries,
until they were required to limit themselves to one state, and of
course they limited themself to their largest state, also their home
They had hundred of branches throughout California and were the
prototype for today's banks that have branches on every street corner.
At a about the time they launched BankAmericard, they were the largest
bank in the world, surpassing any of the New York banks.
As you know, in later years they fell on less prosperous times and
were eventually acquired by NationsBank, formerly North Carolina
National Bank (NCNB). NationsBank, upon acquiring Bank of America,
changed its name from NationsBank to Bank of America and still has its
headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I should have originally said BoA was
not very common in the Chicago and other midwest areas. To Chicago
people, BoA was considered a San Francisco operation. Our local
branch of BoA here in Independence did not arrive until about 1990.