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Inspiring ideas: How Bank of California came up with Mastercard?

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Bank of California, presently known as Union Bank of California was founded in 1864, and is a financial service provider based in Canada. The MasterCard innovation of the bank is one of the stories of the inspiring ideas available on our blog. 

Inspiring Ideas and Implementation:

Prof. Melvin B. Salveson came up with an idea to compete with Bank of America’s charge card, Bankamericard, by collaborating with other California banks. Michael Phillips, an Executive at Bank of California, believed he could improve Salvesons’ design. Phillips’ superior represented Michaels’ idea to other California institutions. The Interbank Card Association (ICA) was thus established where various banks teamed up to form ‘Master Charge’, with the support of New York’s Marine Midland Bank.

Lastly, they renamed it MasterCard later in 1979.


Mastercard had 200 clients within 9 months of its launch and is now a global card network. In 2014, MasterCard and Apple collaborated to include a new mobile wallet function in Apple’s latest iPhone models.

Had it not for Salveson’s idea, and Michael’s incremental innovation, MasterCard would not be a reality. Today’s innovation traces its roots in yesterday’s ideas, and more importantly the implementation of these ideas. In today’s context to make innovations like Mastercard a possibility, a platform is needed where ideas can be quickly shared and the implementation of ideas tracked. While there are a ton of systems that can provide that functionality, they can get complicated.

If you need to get your innovation management program started, rather quickly, let’s say, within 5 minutes, InspireIP is the right idea management software for you. Want to know more? Send us a quick mail and we will get back to you with a demo. If you wish to read more stories about inspiring ideas, subscribe to our newsletter.

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