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Bank of America Visa Cash Cards

 

Bank of America issued 35 Visa Cash cards during their 6 year program.

In April 1995, Visa International and Bank of America introduced the first production Visa Cash card cataloged by VisaCash.org as BOA (1). In an "all employee" announcement, Visa management encouraged employees to "Embark On a Journey Beyond Cash". This concept is highlighted on the front page of a new brochure also developed as part of the Visa Cash card launch as an official Visa International product.

As BOA (1) is the first production issue, Bank of America (any Visa member bank issuer could have participated, but Visa has a tradition of launching new products with the Bank of America in the United States) was the issuing bank. BOA (1) is the first Visa Cash card issue to contain real cash value in the chip of the card. Subsequent card purchase transactions from this point on required daily monetary settlement to and from a financial institution.

As a result, BOA (1) is also Bank of America's first Visa Cash card issue. In retrospect, it seems very appropriate that  BOA (1) was issued as a commemorative card, as the card established Visa Cash as an official Visa product. Visa and Bank of America issued 3,000 cards (this is the published number, actual number distributed or later destroyed is really not known). All of the BOA (1) cards were given to Visa employees, who were asked to help in the Visa Cash product launch by using the card to make purchases at various locations at Visa headquarters. Each commemorative BOA (1) contained "a gift of five prepaid U. S. dollars" in order to encourage employees to use the card and spend the value on the card.

While Bank of America issued the card, Visa employees were to use BOA (1) in place of cash at the Visa International headquarter facilities in and around San Mateo, California. There were 3 locations at Visa headquarters where the Visa Cash cards could be used (the Metro Center, the office buildings at Clearview Way or Davis Drive). Visa and Bank of America limited liabilities by having employees use the Visa Cash card in this controlled environment. Testing at Visa headquarter locations also allowed for major "end to end" systems review prior to the international roll out of the Visa Cash product to member banks.

Visa as part of the product roll out, put its very powerful and well known marketing strength to work. The Visa marketing department developed a marketing campaign featuring the Visa Cash card as a  cash replacement card, which would change consumer behavior in making make small cash purchases. Beyond the standard press release and promotions to member banks, Visa retained a well known artist Clare Mackie for the design of BOA (1) and associated marketing literature. Beyond the standard high quality product documentation, it is currently not know what other media was used in the product launch. For us, the BOA (1) card design is one of the best card designs ever developed by Visa or one of their member banks, whether it be a Visa Cash card, credit or debit card.

Click on any card image below to enlarge.

Below is the narrative on the back of the BOA (1) card brochure.

Visa employees could use the Visa Cash cards to purchase food and beverages at the cafeteria checkouts, or to buy products from vending machines. Visa and Bank of America also made available vending machines for employees to purchase additional $20 cards, at each of these locations. Visa Cash cards purchased at these machines are listed in the VisaCash.org catalog as numbers BOA (2), BOA (3) and BOA (4).

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If you or someone you know has more information about the Bank of America Visa Cash program, please contact us.