For a special historical retrospective on credit cards published last Friday, American Banker asked a number of industry leaders and observers to provide some thoughts and impressions about this banking success story. Here are some that did not appear in the supplement because of space limitations.
The credit card is the most consequential product the U.S. banking industry has ever invented. If you look at the profitablility over the last 10 to 15 years it clearly buoyed the bulk of the U.S. banking industry and was in fact the salvation of some of our largest banks. If you look at the products the industry itself has created, the most consequential brands in the entire banking industry are MasterCard and Visa. They are not Citibank and Chase.