Onto the Global Stage: The 1960s and the End of Parochialism
Chargex / Visa*
"Will that be Cash or Chargex." The introduction of charge cards to Canada marked a radical shift in the consumer habits of a country of savers. No other financial product changed Canadians' spending habits more than Chargex, by putting $300 of instant credit into millions of consumers' hands. Because there was no existing market for charge cards, Royal Bank used the powerful mediums of radio and television for the first time to intensively advertise Chargex. First introduced in 1968, the more international name Visa replaced Chargex in 1977. By 1980, 1.7 million Royal Bank customers had and were using charge cards.
Chargex was an early user of computer technology. From the introduction of Chargex, matching an endless stream of transaction vouchers with retailers' and customers' accounts used all the available computer power and pushed the development of technology to new levels.