Monday, April 06, 2009

History of Credit Cards

Credit Cards have got go an absolute necessity so much so that we take them for granted. A number of money experts have got already slated the paper currency as a dying dinosaur. But have got you ever wondered where did this plastic money of credit card come up from? Whose genius was it anyways?

Though the thought of “have now, wage later” existed since the 1700s but it was only in the early 20th century that the banks started taking credit protection in word form of overdrafts. In 1914 Western Union gave its clients a metallic element card allowing them interest free recess payments. This gave their clients a freedom to pass beyond their means. However, the thought of existent credit card did not hit ‘father of Credit Cards’, Frank McNamara until he forgot his wallet back home while going out for a dinner with friends.

This awkward minute was just too much for McNamara. Thus, he created the “Diner’s baseball club card”. It was initially a businessmen’s card for dinners and retails purchases while traveling but by the end of 1950 it had go a phenomenon. A national craze that began with just 200 clients who could utilize it in 27 restaurants, it swelled to such as monolithic size that it distribute over the whole USA with 20000 clients and more than varied sorts of retail merchants subscribed to it as credit providers. The Diners card charged seven percent for each individual transaction with card endorsers paying a three-dollar annual fee. Stores and service companies readily extended this facility. They could profit from it since the clients spent more than than they would if they had to pay the cash up frontally.

The General Petroleum Corporation was one of the first companies to offer an existent credit card that allowed for combustible and automotive repair purchases to its employees. They could utilize their card and do payments towards these things with parts of their paychecks.

The monopoly of Diner’s baseball club was short lived. McNamara withdrew his share of money from the company in 1952. Very soon American Express launched its similar yet more than generalized credit card and Bank of America came out with BankAmericard (now called VISA) in 1958. Master card came up in 1966. These new market participants overpowered the old titan.

While McNamara created credit cards, Toilet Biggins is acknowledged as the discoverer of the bank credit card. He worked at the Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn in New York. In 1946, Mr. Biggins developed the "Charge-It" program in which local merchants who accepted the card would lodge sales steals into the bank and the bank billed the customer.

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