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The Invention of the Credit Card

The idea of buying and selling things on credit is a very old idea. Long before currency was invented, people were using faith-based credit to buy and sell products and services. The earliest historical mention of a “credit card” in American history dates back to the 1920s, when the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. Credit cards, during this time, were not credit cards like today. They were an agreement between an individual and a company or corporation—a hotel or local store, for example—to pay later for services rendered or goods acquired.

At the beginning, credit cards were not necessarily card-shaped. They could be tickets or tokens of any kind, made of all different kinds of materials. The invention of the first bank-issued credit card is credited to John Biggins of New York in 1946. He created a card that could be used to buy goods and services on bank credit. However, this card was still very different from the cards we recognize as credit cards today.

Credit card processing improved over the years. The first credit cards were really charge cards, because the total amount on the card needed to be repaid when billed by the company. Around this time, there was also a sudden emergence of pre-paid cards, which the user could pay cash for and use at a later time.

By the mid-1970s, the credit card market as we know it today evolved. The US government began regulating the market around this time to ensure that customers, banks, and independent credit providers did not take advantage of the new system. The government created a series of new regulations on the growing credit card market, ensuring that consumers paid credit card companies, and that credit card companies could not charge consumers unnecessarily.

Today, more and more companies are using electronic check conversion to process personal checks and credit cards. This allows individuals to keep their personal checks as a record that they made a transaction. Similarly, when you make a purchase with a credit card, you will receive a receipt and a slip of paper that is an electronic proof-of-purchase.

Another up-and-coming technology in the realm of credit and credit card technology is known as remote deposit capture. This is a way for an individual to deposit a check into his or her bank account without leaving the home or office. This is excellent for people who work during banking hours, or who do not have time to get to the bank for one reason or another.

It is easy to see how far technology has come since the first credit card. According to the Federal Reserve, the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the Nilson Report there are now more that 495 million debit card transactions each month. Combined with credit card usage, card usage is becoming one of the most preferred methods of payment in the marketplace. And, accepting cards can dramatically increase merchant revenue.

Customers typically spend more when they have a variety of payment options

Credit Cards give customers the freedom to spend more

Many customers only shop at businesses that accept credit or debit cards

Customers are less sensitive to price with they purchase with a credit card

Credit Card customers buy whenever the need arises unlike cash customers

With the growth of card usage, over the last 10 years the number of identity theft and data breaches have grown exponentially.

To ensure that the customers do not become a statistic in this ever growing issue, we have developed a multifaceted service which provides Merchants with:

  • Data Security Training for you and your employees
  • Network IP Scanning to determine possible breach opportunities within a point of sale system
  • Online PCI Compliance Coaching
  • Data Breach Assistance and $50,000 in Data Breach Insurance
  • Ensures that you meet Payment Card Data Security Standards set by VISA, MasterCard, American Express & JCB
  • No Fraud Zone Signage for your store

 

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