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Giant payment network
Visa(V - Get Report) is no stranger to our Rocket Stocks list -- and that's for good reason. This stock has rallied more than 30% in the last six months, and more than 6% so far in 2013 alone. Visa's market leading position in a strengthening economy points to even more upside for this stock for months to come.
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Visa is the standard bearer in the payment network business. The firm's logo is printed on more than 60% of the world's credit and debit cards, giving it dominance that other firms can't touch. It doesn't hurt that payment card acceptance is a positive feedback loop: consumers see Visa's network accepted everywhere they shop, so they're more likely to get a Visa-braded card, and merchants see more customers whip out a Visa than any other brand, so they're more willing to keep accepting Visa. That makes the firm's network extremely hard to replicate for new networks unless they're willing to take a huge haircut on the fees they charge.
Globally, the shift from cash to electronic payments looks likely to fuel growth for the foreseeable future in Visa. That's because as consumers shift continue their payments from predominantly cash and checks to predominantly electronic credit or debit card payments, the market should get bigger quickly enough for all of the participants to benefit. Visa's massive scale just means that it'll get to benefit more.