Base I is the first of two systems put in place by VisaNet to authorize transactions. It also manages other authorization-related services for credit card processing members. What is VisaNet? VisaNet is the collection of all systems and networks that provide authorization services such as clearing, settlement and exception file services. This is all under the umbrella of Visa and is one of the first electronic payment processing tools. Imagine what the world would be like today without this widespread and efficient technology.
A Brief History of Base I
The IT staff at Bank of America first established Base I in 1976, giving it the name BASE. This acronym is short for Bank of America System Engineering. Why does this pertain to Visa? Prior to 1973, Visa was called the BankAmericard, so in a way, a merchant account member carrying a Visa card in his or her wallet has a historical connection to Bank of America through the card and through Base I and Base II.
What Makes Base I Different Than Base II?
The simplest way to distinguish Base I from Base II is this: Base I begins the authorization process. Base II finishes the process. Once the transaction takes place, Base I steps up to provide authorization. This data-processing network is available for all Visa users, internationally or domestically, commercially or in government. Once authorization has been successful, Base II settles the account. This incurs a Visa Base II Settlement Fee. These transactions, like any credit card processing, occur on a daily basis. Merchant accounts receive updates and alerts once Base I has finished to say if a transaction has been authorized or not. This efficient security measure allows the world of commerce to function more and more electronically. This allows for less paper and cash transactions. Will the world completely do away with currency some day? That is unknown, but credit card processing has done nothing but blossom in the last half-century since its inception. With the development of VisaNet systems like Base I, merchant account holders can rely on Visa to protect their business while allowing transactions to continue, and even thrive, on a daily basis.