In recent years, payments companies have been some of the most valuable on Wall Street.  Many of these companies have recently become publicly traded and are technology driven.
For example, PayPal was founded in 1998, went public in July, and is already almost as valuable as the collective 32 NFL teams ($41 billion versus $45 billion, respectively). MasterCard and Visa went from membership organizations to publicly traded companies in 2006 and 2007, respectively; since that time, their value has increased drastically.
Click here for the full visual comparison
While the members of the payments value chain might not get the press like sports teams do, they are what drives the economy, and the valuations reflect that.

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