IN 1969, when Eastern States Bankcard Association was putting its authorization system in place, the telephone company crossed its lines with those of a Long Island bookmaker.

"The bookie was authorizing credit card purchases, and we were getting calls about horses," said Philip Verdi, who worked for the pioneering credit card processor, and who is now executive vice president in charge of electronic services at MasterCard International.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.