Anyone who has seen advertisements from Visa Inc.'s "Currency of Progress" campaign can't help noticing a stark contrast in its corporate message.

The payments company's long-running "Visa: It's Everywhere You Want to Be" campaign has encouraged consumers to spring for that ski trip, for example, or a new dining-room set, but the new message is aimed at redefining Visa as a facilitator of global commerce, and to distance itself from banks.

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