When AT&T Corp. launched its Universal Card in 1990, few credit card bankers considered it a serious competitive threat.

Five years later, the telecommunications giant ranks second in MasterCard and Visa cards issued, at 22.5 million, and fifth in receivables, at $12 billion, according to The Nilson Report.

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.