Hey guys! For this blog post I wanted to revisit the subject of currency. But in another facet as of yet not focused on. The concept being, credit and the credit card.
As I had already talked about a few weeks ago the history of the bank note which was for all intensive purposes, a type of promissory credit document of worth. However, even though the idea of credit for currency was secluded to a select few in the early eleventh century. It didn’t become regionally wide spread until the early 1900’s.
The idea of the credit card was actually first publicized in the 1887 novel, “Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy. This type of credit card was an annual sum payment that citizens used from a profit pool in a utopian society. This card concept, though nothing like what we currently use credit cards for, helped to spark a quickly thought out network of bad ideas for exchanging money and profit.
It began with charge coins, then charge plates, and lastly charge cards which stuck with some success in the 1920’s. The main problem of course, is that the person’s identity was not identified on these items of credit. So literally anyone could use them.
So in 1934 they started using a numbering system to keep track of each customer’s card usage. But this was only a small step in improvement. Since there were numerous credit card companies, not all merchants excepted credit cards, and most merchants who did except credit cards, only accepted one type or at most, two. So in 1958, Bank of America created the BankAmericard. This was the first wide spread, recognizable modern credit card to hit the market. B of A had successfully convinced most local merchants to except their card because of the immediate distribution of their card to 60 thousands local Fresno residents all at once. Usually credit cards were saved for a select group of loyal customers. But B of A figured if they flooded the public with these credit cards to both customers and non customers, they could immediately dominate the other banks and credit unions in their region and stake a monopoly on banking credit. And they did just that. In 1976 it became used world wide under the united name Visa.
Of course you have heard of MasterCard right? Well this card was created in 1966 by a large group of different banks to compete with B of A’s card. It quickly morphed into the Everything Card and then into the Master Charge card in 1969. Then finally named MasterCard.
The material of these cards started out as paper of course, and then metal. After that they moved to a celluloid plastic for a short time, then into a metal and fiber combination. And finally today, it has transformed its properties into a polyvinyl chloride card (which is what the layman calls PVC plastic)
Paying With Magic:
“Don’t put your passions on credit with promises to repay with interest. Imagine your future with hope, hard work, and positivity. The wealth of life will always follow when you charge into your dreams with open eyes.”