A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be unlisted. Public companies are formed within the legal systems of particular nations, therefore have national associations and formal designations which are distinct and separate. For example one of the main public company forms in the United States is called a limited liability company, in France is called a "society of limited responsibility", in Britain a public limited company, in Germany a company with limited liability. While the general idea of a public company may be similar, differences are meaningful, are at the core of international law disputes with regard to industry and trade. In the early modern period, the Dutch developed several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system.
The Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the first publicly traded company, because it was the first company to be actually listed on an official stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fledged capital market: corporate shareholders; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed." The securities of a publicly traded company are owned by many investors while the shares of a held company are owned by few shareholders. A company with many shareholders is not a publicly traded company. In the United States, in some instances, companies with over 500 shareholders may be required to report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Public companies possess some advantages over held businesses.
Publicly traded companies are able to raise funds and capital through the sale of shares of stock. This is the reason publicly traded corporations are important; the profit on stock is gained in form of capital gain to the holders. The financial media and the public are able to access additional information about the business, since the business is legally bound, motivated, to publicly disseminate information regarding the financial status and future of the company to its many shareholders and the government; because many people have a vested interest in the company's success, the company may be more popular or recognizable than a private company. The initial shareholders of the company are able to share risk by selling shares to the public. If one were to hold a 100% share of the company, he or she would have to pay all of the business's debt; this increases asset liquidity and the company does not need to depend on funding from a bank. For example, in 2013 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owned 29.3% of the company's class A shares, which gave him enough voting power to control the business, while allowing Facebook to raise capital from, distribute risk to, the remaining shareholders.
Facebook was a held company prior to its initial public offering in 2012. If some shares are given to managers or other employees, potential conflicts of interest between employees and shareholders will be remitted; as an example, in many tech companies, entry-level software engineers are given stock in the company upon being hired. Therefore, the engineers have a vested interest in the company succeeding financially, are incentivized to work harder and more diligently to ensure that success. Many stock exchanges require that publicly traded companies have their accounts audited by outside auditors, publish the accounts to their shareholders. Besides the cost, this may make useful information available to competitors. Various other annual and quarterly reports are required by law. In the United States, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act imposes additional requirements; the requirement for audited books is not imposed by the exchange known as OTC Pink. The shares may be maliciously held by outside shareholders and the original founders or owners may lose benefits and control.
The principal-agent problem, or the agency problem is a key weakness of public companies. The separation of a company's ownership and control is prevalent in such countries as U. K and U. S. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that firms whose stock is traded publicly report their major shareholders each year; the reports identify all institutional shareholders, all company officials who own shares in their firm, any individual or institution owning more than 5% of the firm's stock. For many years, newly created companies were held but held initial
Network for Electronic Transfers or more known as NETS. It is owned by OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank; the NETS Group provides a full suite of payments and financial processing services including direct debit and credit payments at point-of-sale and online, mobile payments, card services, electronic funds transfer and cheque processing services. NETS is a member of the Asian Payment Network and a council member of UnionPay International. NETS was first introduced to the public on June 27, 1985 as a 2-month pilot project involving 10,000 ATM card holders from the five local banks, namely DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, UOB, POSB Bank and OUB through 64 terminals installed at participating government offices, department stores and petrol kiosks; the service was launched on January 18, 1986, allowing 1.3 million ATM card holders to make transactions through the initial NETS network of 195 terminals located in various retail outlets and by 1993, consumer spending through NETS reached S$1.14 billion. NETS operates Singapore’s national debit scheme enabling customers of DBS Bank, POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB to make payments using their physical/contactless ATM cards or mobile devices at more than 102,000 acceptance points in Singapore including major retailers, food courts, hawker centres, convenience stores and supermarkets.
The nationwide acceptance infrastructure is the largest in Singapore and includes 40,000 Unified Point-of-Sale terminals and 55,000 QR acceptance points. In 2011, NETS’ debit system was designated as national payment system by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. NETS introduced the 1st generation chip-based CashCard in 1995; the CashCard is a stored value card, predominantly used as a payment mode for Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing and car park charges since the introduction of the in-vehicle unit in 1997. CashCard can be used for retail purchases. In May 2015, NETS launched vCashCard, a virtual wallet for road tolls payment that allows motorists to drive through Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing gantries seamlessly. Road toll payments are automatically charged to their bank accounts or debit/credit cards. With NETS vCashCard, motorists do not need to worry about forgetting to insert a physical CashCard/FlashPay into the in-vehicle unit or having insufficient value in the CashCard/FlashPay and paying unnecessary ERP admin fees.
Motorists can sign up for auto top-up service and view their ERP transactions at the vCashCard website or NETS vCashCard app from App Store or Google Play. In May 2018, the 2nd generation contactless; the CEPAS CashCard card is based on the same specifications of the CEPAS FlashPay card, thus both cards can be used interchangeably. The Singapore Government launched CEPAS 2.0, a Singaporean specification of a common standard for electronic money smart card, in 2009. The transit market was opened to more issuers enabling NETS to participate and subsequently launch the NETS FlashPay card on 9 October 2009. FlashPay is a multi-purpose contactless stored value smart card that can be used for a huge variety of quick payments at/on – MRT/LRT, public buses, taxis, ERP gantries, car parks and 102,000 retail acceptance points island-wide. In October 2010, NETS launched the Auto Top Up service for the NETS FlashPay card, allowing commuters to automatically top up the value on their cards to a predetermined amount when it runs low or when there is insufficient stored value on the card to make payment at all MRT and LRT stations, public buses, ERP gantries and EPS carparks.
NETS EFTPOS is a nationwide infrastructure that enables DBS, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, POSB, UOB and Standard Chartered Bank customers to make purchases at points-of-sale using their ATM cards. The NETS EFTPOS service is available at more than 102,000 acceptance points throughout Singapore. NETS Unified POS was introduced to accept contact/contactless and debit payments on one terminal; the terminal accepts NETS, NETS FlashPay and credit schemes such as VISA, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay and JCB, cards issued by partnering banks, as well as NFC-enabled mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. NETS Unified POS can be integrated with loyalty programmes, prepaid services and point-of-sale via Electronic Cash Register interface. ENETS is an online payment gateway services, it enables payment from all major credit cards and currencies as well as Direct Debit from the major banks in Singapore and China, including DBS, UOB, OCBC, Citibank and BNU. NETS eCommerce was launched in 2016 to provide a quick and affordable end-to-end solution to set up webstores.
The solution is integrated with secured payment options using eNETS Credit. NETSPay is a digital wallet app. Launched in October 2017, it introduces 2 new payment options for NETS debit, NETS Contactless and NETS QR. NETS Contactless is supported on Android devices via NFC and HCE, NETS QR is supported on Android & iOS devices via QR code. ATM cardholders can digitise their bankcards with the app, replacing the debit card chip an
Seocho District is one of the 25 gu which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. Seocho is referred to as a part of Greater Gangnam Area, along with Gangnam District and Songpa District. Seocho District is served by the Seoul Subway Line 2, Line 3, Line 4, Line 7, Bundang Line, Line 9. South Korea's longest highway, Gyeongbu Expressway, ends here. In South Korea, there are two types of dong or neighborhoods, one of, called Beopjeong-dong denoting "dong designated by law"; the other is called Haengjeong-dong referring to "dong assigned for administrative purpose". Beopjeong-dong has a long history, tradition or convention of each place, while as a population of residents in beopjeong-dong increases or decreases, the administration in charge divides one dong to several haengjeong-dong or integrates several beopjeong-dong to one haengjeong-dong such as the following example. Wonji-dong is administered by the Yangjae 2-dong office. Seocho 1-dong is one of hangjeong-dongs of Seocho-dong; the below are beopjeong-dong.
NeighborhoodSeocho-dong Jamwon-dong Banpo-dong Bangbae-dong Yangjae-dong Umyeon-dong Wonji-dong Naegok-dong Yeomgok-dong Sinwon-dong The area is home to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. Seocho Samsung Town in Seocho-dong, near Gangnam Station, is the headquarters of several corporations of the Samsung Group including Samsung Electronics. In DaeRyung Scecho Tower is the headquarters of South Korean skincare and cosmetics manufacturer Skin Food, it is the location of the infamous Sampoong Department Store collapse of 1995. K-pop label Starship Entertainment is located in the area. Seorae Village in Banpo-dong, is a small French enclave, with a large concentration of French residents and European-style restaurants, dessert cafes, as well as wineries and cafes stand along its main street. Umyeonsan Guryongsan Cheonggyesan Yangjaecheon, a stream Supreme Court of South Korea National Library of Korea Seoul Art Center National Gugak Center Citizen Park Heonin Tomb Seoul MetroSeoul Subway Line 2 Circle Line ← Seoul National Univ. of Education - Seocho - Bangbae → Seoul Subway Line 3 ← Jamwon - Express Bus Terminal - Seoul National Univ. of Education - Nambu Bus Terminal - Yangjae → Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit CorporationSeoul Subway Line 7 ← Banpo - Express Bus Terminal - Naebang → Seoul Metro Line 9 CorporationSeoul Subway Line 9 ← Gubanpo - Sinbanpo - Express Bus Terminal - Sapyeong → Torch Trinity Graduate University is located in Yangjae-dong, Seocho District.
International schools in the district: French School of Seoul Dulwich College Seoul Rainbow International School Suginami, Japan Hongkou District, China Laoshan District, China Çankaya District, Turkey Irvine, United States Gangnam District List of Korea-related topics Geography of South Korea Media related to Seocho-gu, Seoul at Wikimedia Commons Seocho-gu website Seocho-gu website
JCB Co., Ltd.
JCB Co. Ltd. is a credit card company based in Tokyo, Japan. It is accepted at JCB merchants, it in a strategic alliance with Discover Network merchants in the United States, UnionPay merchants in China, American Express merchants in Canada, RuPay merchants in India. Founded in 1961 as Japan Credit Bureau, JCB established dominance over the Japanese credit card market when it purchased Osaka Credit Bureau in 1968, its cards are now issued in 20 different countries. 69.26 million JCB cardmembers worldwide use their cards to purchase over US$62.7 billion of goods and services annually in 190 countries worldwide. JCB operates a network of membership lounges targeting East Asian travelers in Europe and North America. Since 1981, JCB has been aggressively expanding its business overseas. JCB cards are issued in 20 countries numbering 9 million, in most countries JCB is affiliated with financial institutions to license them to issue JCB-branded cards. All international operations are conducted through its 100%-owned subsidiary, JCB International Credit Card Co. Ltd.
In the United States, JCB is not a primary credit card network such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. While the brand was accepted by tourism-related businesses such as airlines, car rental companies, Japanese speciality retailers and select department stores it gained wider acceptance when on August 23, 2006 JCB announced an alliance with the Discover Network; the two companies signed a long-term agreement that led to acceptance of Discover Network brand cards at JCB point-of-sale terminals in Japan and of JCB cards on the Discover network in the U. S; this partnership became operational in 2011. Local JCB accounts in the United States were issued by JCB USA, offered to residents of California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and Hawaii. JCB USA stopped issuing JCB cards in the American market on January 8, 2018, closed all current consumer credit card accounts on April 30, 2018. Foreign JCB cards continue to work through the Discover network partnership. JCB The Class JCB Gold The Premier JCB Gold JCB Gold Extage JCB Standard JCB Corporate Card JCB JALCARD All Nippon Airways JCB Credit Card Korean Air Skypass JCB Credit Card Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer JCB Credit Card Delta Skymiles JCB JTB Card Honda C-card Synergy JCB AEON JCB Credit Card APLUS Gold Credit Card TS Cubic Card Seven Card Cedyna OMC.
Prime bank JCB Credit Card BOC CUP-JCB Credit Card Bank of Shanghai CUP-JCB Credit Card Toyota China Merchants Bank Credit Card China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd. CNY-JPY JCB Credit Card JCB Standard JCB Gold JCB Platinum JCB Precious JCB Grand JCB Eternity JCB Debit JCB Precious Debit AEON JCB Bank of East Asia Platinum JCB Shin Han NANO Card KB Card Star Lotte Card JCB BC Card JCB AEON Card JCB KTC JCB Krungsri JCB Platinum KBank JCB Platinum SCB JCB Platinum BDO JCB Lucky Cat BDO JCB Gold BDO JCB Platinum RCBC Bankard myDream JCB RCBC Bankard JCB Classic RCBC Bankard JCB Gold RCBC Bankard JCB Platinum UOB JCB Platinum Card Maybank JCB Platinum Credit Card BNI JCB Platinum Credit Card CIMB Niaga JCB Ultimate Credit Card BRI JCB Platinum Credit Card Credimax JCB Classic Credit Card Credimax JCB Gold Credit Card Caixa JCB Único Card All JCB USA cards were discontinued and consumer account closed on April 30, 2018. Marukai Premium JCB Card Marukai JCB Card Mitsuwa JCB Card JCB Balance Bank of Khyber JCB Debit Card Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank Debit Card Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank Prepaid Card Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank Gold Card VietinBank JCB Platium Card Kienlong Bank JCB Platium Card Tokyo Disney Resort Universal Studios Japan Kidzania Tokyo Kidzania Koshien J. League JCB Classic JCB Global website JCBUSA JCB Corporate website
Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Baekje and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium and Goguryeo were conquered by Silla, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north following the collapse of Goguryeo. Unified Silla collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium Goryeo, a revival of Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as one single state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo.
Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century weakened the nation, which agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin which ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, Goryeo fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392; the first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.
In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U. S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence; the Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea, South Korea. Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty; this status contributes to the high tensions. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region. "Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.
Korea was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo, of the Chinese 高麗. This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo, which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time. Korea's introduction to the West resulted from trade and contact with merchants from Arabic lands, with some records dating back as far as the 9th century. Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, known as Goryeo beginning in the 5th century; the original name was a combination of the adjective go with the name of a local Yemaek tribe, whose original name is thought to have been either *Guru or *Gauri. With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and grew in popularity; the name Korea is now used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk; the name references Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula.
Although written in Hanja as 韓, 幹, or 刊, this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a phonetic transcription of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great" in reference to leaders. It has been tentatively linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Central Asia. In North Korea, China and Japan, Korea as a whole is referred to as. "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier Kojoseon, who ruled northern Korea from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 BC by China's Han Empire; this go is the Hanja 古 and
South Korea the Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea has a predominantly mountainous terrain, it comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2. Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million. Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period; the history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period. The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era; the written historical record on Gojoseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE.
Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty. It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U. S. zones of occupations. A separate election was held in the U. S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea, while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the Soviet zone. The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea; the Korean War began in June 1950. The war lasted three years and involved the U. S. China, the Soviet Union and several other nations; the border between the two nations remains the most fortified in the world. Under long-time military leader Park Chung-hee, the South Korean economy grew and the country was transformed into a G-20 major economy. Military rule ended in 1987, the country is now a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions.
South Korea is a developed country and a high-income economy, with a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 22nd in the world. The country is considered a regional power and is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 12th largest by PPP as of 2010. South Korea is a global leader in the industrial and technological sectors, being the world's 5th largest exporter and 8th largest importer, its export-driven economy focuses production on electronics, ships, machinery and robotics. South Korea is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, the United Nations, Uniting for Consensus, G20, the WTO and OECD and is a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit; the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name; the 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, thus inherited its name, pronounced by the visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel.
Despite the coexistence of the spellings Corea and Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically. After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted; the new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon. In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk; the name Daehan, which means "Great Han" derives from Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula. However, the name Joseon was still used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.
Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea was adopted as the legal English name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the informal term South Korea was coined, becoming common in the Western world. While South Koreans use Han to refer to the entire country, North Koreans and ethnic Koreans living in China and Japan use the term Joseon as the name of the country; the Korean name "Daehan Minguk" is sometimes used by South Koreans as a metonym to refer to the Korean ethnicity as a whole, rather than just the South Korean state. The history of Korea begins with the founding of Joseon in 2333 BCE by Dangun, according to Korea's foundation mythology. Gojoseon expanded until it controlled parts of Manchuria. Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in the 12th century BC, but its existence and role have been controversial in the modern era. In 108 BCE, the Han dynasty defeated Wiman Joseon and installed four commanderies in the n
Diners Club International
Diners Club International, founded as Diners Club, is a charge card company owned by Discover Financial Services. Formed in 1950 by Frank X. McNamara, Ralph Schneider, Matty Simmons, Alfred Bloomingdale, it was the first independent credit card company in the world, it established the concept of a self-sufficient company producing credit cards for travel and entertainment. Diners Club International and its franchises service individuals from around the globe with operations in 59 countries; the idea for Diners Club was conceived at the Majors Cabin Grill restaurant in New York City in 1949. Diners Club cofounder Frank McNamara was dining with clients and realized he had left his wallet in another suit, his wife paid the tab, McNamara thought of a multipurpose charge card as a way to avoid similar embarrassments in the future. He discussed the idea with the restaurant owner at the table, the following day with his lawyer Ralph Schneider and friend Alfred Bloomingdale. McNamara returned to the same restaurant the following February, in 1950, paid for his meal using a cardboard charge card and a signature.
The story became well-known, Diners Club official history referring to this meal as "The First Supper" though, as stated following, some disputed accounts refer to it having been a lunch, is credited by historians as the beginnings of contemporary credit. Various versions of the story differ about whether it was a lunch or dinner at which McNamara forgot his wallet, whether the bill was paid on loan or McNamara waited for his wife to drive his wallet to him; some journalists credited Alfred Bloomingdale with the idea for Diners Club. McNamara and his attorney, Ralph Schneider, founded Diners Club International on February 8, 1950, with $1.5 million in initial capital. Alfred Bloomingdale joined then started a competing venture in California before merging his California-based Dine and Sign with Diners Club. Diners Club International was named for being a "club of diners" that would allow patrons to settle their bill at the end of each month through their credit account; when the card was first introduced, Diners Club listed 27 participating restaurants, 200 of the founders's friends and acquaintances used it.
Diners Club had 20,000 members by the end of 1950 and 42,000 by the end of 1951. At the time, the company was charging participating establishments seven percent and billed cardholders $5 a year. In 1952, McNamara sold his interest in Diners Club to his partners for $200,000; the first plastic Diners Club card was introduced in 1961. Diners Club International was acquired by Citigroup in 1981 and by Discover Financial Services in April 2008. Diners Club's monopoly was short-lived, as American Express and Carte Blanche began to compete with Diners Club in the travel and entertainment card market. American Express now dominates the charge card sector, providing millions of customers with cards that require the monthly balance to be paid in full. Towards the end of the 1960s, Diners Club faced competition from banks that issued revolving credit cards through Bank of America's BankAmericard, Interbank Master Charge. Diners Club began early on to allow franchises of the Diners Club name, at first in Europe and throughout the world, for many years eclipsing the BankAmericard or Interbank Master Charge networks abroad.
Starting in 1968, the American Oil Company, better known publicly as Amoco issued, for a time, its own co-branded Diners Club cards called American Torch Club, Sun Oil Company issued its version called Sun Diner Club Card starting in 1977. In 1981, Citibank, a unit of Citigroup, acquired Diners Club International, the franchisor that holds rights to the Diners Club trademark, many of the largest franchises worldwide. A majority of the franchises abroad remain independently owned; the credit card is closing down its services in the Nordic countries on 31 May 2019. In a transaction completed July 1, 2008, Discover Financial Services purchased Diners Club International from Citibank for $165 million; the deal was announced in April 2008 and approved by the U. S. government in May 2008. By merging the North American Discover Network with the international Diners Club Network, Discover created a global payment processing system. Discover Bank has no plans to issue Diners Club-branded cards, which continue to be issued by Diners Club International licensees.
In 2011, Discover began putting its logo on Diners Club cards. Some payment processors, like PayPal, can process only new Diners Club cards, bearing the Discover logo. In 2004, Diners Club announced an agreement with MasterCard. Diners Club cards issued in the United States and Canada featured a MasterCard logo and 16-digit account number on the front, could be used wherever MasterCards were accepted. Cards from other countries continued to bear a 14-digit account number on the front, with the MasterCard logo on the back. However, since the takeover of Diners Club International by Discover Financial Services, these cards have had the Discover logo on the back. Carte Blanche began in 1958 when entertainment card was renamed. Hilton sold Carte Blanche to First National City Bank in 1966. Regulatory challenges forced First National City Bank to sell Carte Blanche to Avco in 1968. In 1978, Citicorp reacquired Carte Blanche without regulatory opposition; the 1960s- and 1970s-era Carte Blanche cards were considered more prestigious worldwide than their competition, the American Express and Diners Club cards, though its small cardmember base hindered its