The Story of The Credit Card: More Interesting Than You’d Admit

Did you know that both the idea for and terminology of the modern credit card stems from a novel written in 1887? That the inception of “plastic,” as we often call it today, originated in the 1920s not long after? Needless to say, you might not have thought the history of the credit card to be so compelling – boring even, some might say.

To millions of consumers’ benefit – and unquestionably, their detriment as well – the form of payment issued through a small, rectangular piece of magnetized plastic arose not only from utopian ideals, but from new industries emerging in the new world. In his 1887 novel, Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy first published his idea of customers paying their way through life on “credit cards,” known then only as a science fiction novelty.

Credit cards as we know them today – to some degree – were first used in the early twenties to sell fuel to automobile owners. In 1928, the Charga-Plate was invented by the Farrington Manufacturing Co., allowing cardholders to have their transactions recorded via ribbon ink presses. In 1938, many companies began accepting one another’s cards, and after Western Union started offering the service to its customer base, the phenomenon exploded.

Today, despite criticisms and stumbling blocks along the way, the modern credit card remains an important – or crucial, rather – aspect of modern life. Whether you’re a customer, a merchant, or a banker, entire transactions, accounts, even livelihoods all hinge on a tiny piece of plastic that fits in your pocket. Vision Payment Solutions encourages responsible, prompt use of your credit card, and as an industry leader, advocates the honest and admirable qualities in all of the people whom our products influence daily – from the terminal you might use in your store to the servers processing your customers’ information, maintaining a straightforward and open relationship with your customers and business partners will always be at the top of our list.

For superior credit card-processing solutions at a reasonable cost, trust Vision Payment Solutions to deliver every time. Apply for a merchant account with us today, and witness the benefits of our equipment leasing and financing program, among many other advantages! If you’re a merchant in need of any card-processing needs, don’t hesitate!