“Cards” a brilliant force in World payments.

Good day, guys I’m back again with another story, but it’s not a marvel or dc kind of comic story, we currently don’t operate in that industry lol, so I will be talking about the history of how card payments all started right from its early days, so grab a popcorn because it’s going to be a long post and you’re gonna get educated.

It’s Story Time!!!

It all started in the 13th century when bills of exchange were developed as a legal device to allow international trade without the need for gold to be carried from one region to another, which was known as the First Reference to bills exchange, in the 14th century where English law meant to carry funds abroad.

This bill of exchange was used in the 17th century as domestic as well as international payment which at this time cheques was also issued out.

Then came 1727, when the royal bank of Scotland invented the overdraft as one of the most important banking innovations at that time, but the English wanted to improve on these innovations by pioneering the use of printed forms which was first produced in 1717 at GROCER’S Hall, London. Moving forward to 1770 where daily cheque began, were clerks from each bank met at five balls tavern to exchange their cheques, then came the government with taxation imposed on the cheques made out to order with some exceptions like the navy and army.

In 1871 the big boys came to the playground ie Western Union then introduced “Money Transfer” which gave birth to the ideas of the Credit card by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel ‘looking backward” where he described the concept of using a card for purchases. Although he referred to a card for spending a citizen’s dividend rather than borrowing. So in the 1890s, Western Union started producing services to Europe, North Africa, and south and north America and Asia, so by 1914, the US Western Union provided metal cards nicknamed “Metal Money” giving free deferred payments privileges.

Then Credit cards entered the Us with the help of oil companies and hotel chains in 1920, 26 years later in Spain, remittance resulting from money returned to their home country by migrants amounted to 21% of all it’s current account income, that same year “Charge It” the first bank card was introduced a Brooklyn bank of the name Mr. John Biggins.

By 1950, Frank Mcnamara founded diners club which was the first company to offer a payment card which could be used in 27 restaurants in New York, then came the first UK Charge card Launched by the finders services headed by Donald McCullough in 1951, after launching the card, customers trooped in their numbers but had to submit an application for a loan and later screened for a credit. By 1958, American express launches the paper charge card, that same year bank of America launched its bank America by an unsolicited mailing of 60,00 active cards in California.


Innovation took place in 1959 when American express switched from paper to plastic card, which by 1962 Diner’s club becomes the 1st major charge card company in Britain following the merger of finder services and credit card facilities. Still, on the American express by 1963 they expanded to the Uk with an annual fee of 3.12 pounds (49 pounds in 2005). The card is usable in 3000 UK outlets and 83,000 overseas outlets.

credit cards

So by 1966, Barclays introduced the 1st UK credit card which led Barclays to install the world’s first cash machine. By the early 1970s, first prepaid products appeared for use by students for transit and on campus. Asia wasn’t left out in the series of innovations around the globe, where Dr. Kuninaka Arimura of japan filed the 1st and only;y patent on the smart card concept, which led to the massive improvement in the payment industry, then by 1972 Lloyds bank brought in the 1st online verified atm using plastic cards with a magnetic strip.

In 1979 Visa improved upon the traditional manual imprint machines with the introduction of the Swiper the first Credit Card machine.

The decade Mastercard Gained Recognition.

The 1980s- Banks begin to issue both Visa and access cards, that same, access consortium begins to break up and disappears as MasterCard comes into the picture in the UK.

By 1984, the smart card reached a milestone when the french postal and telecommunications services successfully tested atm bank card chips, within 2 years the use of smart went round the world.

Barclays becomes the first again to issue a debit card in the UK in 1987, One year later in Japan, visa tests the world’s first multi-function chip card, the super-smart card. At the end of that decade, first prepaid phone cards appeared.

With the beginning of a new decade, France introduces chip and pin based upon France Bo standard.

In 1995 Uk debit card volumes exceed credit volumes for the first time where 3 million mobile phone subscribers worldwide initiating and billing calls with smart cards. 1996 visa launches the VISA ELECTRON prior to the Atlanta Olympics.

By 2001 debit card expenditure exceeds credit card expenditure for the first time, where more than half of UK spending is on plastic. 2003 led to Chip and pin era been issued throughout the UK. In 2004 Card expenditure exceeds cash for the very first time in history, in 2005 the first-ever multi-purpose prepaid card was issued by APS. That same year MasterCard worldwide becomes a publicly-traded company. Then Came Bitcoin in 2009 which has changed our perception towards payments for goods and services throughout the entire world. By 2013 total plastic card spending amounted to 532 billion pounds from 10.9 billion transactions worldwide.

In April 2014, the total number skyrocketed, and by 2020 the number of Debit Card payments is expected to reach 12.5billion.

Phew!! that was a long and educative trip to history, if you made it this far, I must congratulate you because at tehlex.com our Card payments are live and easy for you to try it out now.


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