Financial institutions include commercial banks, S&Ls, credit unions, finance companies, and brokerage houses.

Financial institutions are the major interface with retailers for establishing credit card programs including authorization, transaction processing, and check clearance. Financial institutions are also a major marketeer of check verification/guarantee services.

Less than 200 of the 20,000 plus financial institutions offer credit authorization services directly to retailers.

Approximately 5,000 financial institutions offer credit card programs through financial institutions (primarily large commercial banks) and through credit card vendors, including credit card associations and commercial processing vendors.

Credit card authorization services accomplished by financial institutions for their subscribing retailers are considered “in-house.” Such EDP expenditures have not been included as expenditures for information services in this study.