Visa International and American Express Co. recently won victories against each other in Latin America.

Visa's good news came from Chile, where a court dismissed an American Express complaint against the association.

Last week, American Express said Bradesco, Brazil's second-largest bank and a major Visa issuer, had agreed to sell American Express cards through its branch network.

It was not the first Visa member in Brazil to do so. American Express is aggressively courting banks in the Caribbean and Latin America region to sell its cards.

Moreover, American Express has filed complaints against Visa with governments in five countries in the region, claiming that the bank card association unfairly pressures its members to shun American Express' overtures.

With the Chilean complaint dismissed, four others remain pending.

The Chilean government, according to an attorney for Visa, said that since the card association does not formally prohibit its members from aligning with American Express, the complaint lacked standing.

American Express had contended that Visa planned to adopt a rule at its Latin America region meeting in October prohibiting its members from issuing American Express cards. Visa said, however, that the issue was not addressed at the meeting.

Bradesco agreed only to sell American Express cards, in a move similar to the way U.S. banks sell American Express' travelers checks.

"We are already issuers of Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club cards, and now we are selling American Express," said Arnaldo Viera, Bradesco's executive director. "In the future we might offer the (Japanese) JCB card too, according to the demands of our customers."

Visa's president for Brazil, Andres Espinosa, said the Bradesco-American Express deal shows "Visa does not impose anything on its members."

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