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08/11/2010 / craigmartinallen

A Brief History Of The Credit Card

Below, we set out some of the major landmarks in the development of credit cards as we know them today.

HISTORICAL EVENTS

1951
Diners Club launch the first credit card, which is accepted at 27 New York restaurants. Initially, only 200 cards were issued
1958
American Express issues its first charge card, and within 5 years over 1 million cards were in use
1958
Joseph P. Williams invents the first multi-purpose credit card, BankAmericard, which he developed while working at the Bank of America
1966
Fourteen US banks join forces to form the Interlink card payment processor as a rival to BankAmericard. Interlink ultimately evolved into todays’s Mastercard
1967
Barclay’s launch their Barclaycard, the UK’s first general credit card
1977
BankAmericard becomes Visa
1977
The first UK business credit card (as opposed to personal) is launched by Barclaycard
1979
MasterCharge changes its name to become Mastercard
1980s
The decade saw the gradual move towards UK banks issuing Mastercard and Visa cards, and the breaking up of alliances such as Access.
1992
MasterCard launches its international debit card under the Maestro brand
1999
Figures show that half of all UK adults now hold at least one credit card.
1999
Internet-only card issuers including Egg, Smile, and Marbles are launched, the first UK cards to be operated online from application onwards
2000
Accucard, an independent UK card issuer, launches the innovative ‘build your own’ credit card where you can combine the features that matter to you
2002
Planned UK adoption of Chip and PIN confirmed by the major banks and clearance systems
2003
Figures show that more than half of UK adults now regularly use debit cards, while the average number of credit card accounts per adult is now more than two.
2003
UK Chip and PIN trials begin in Northampton.
2004
HBoS launch the MoneyBack card, first debit card to feature a cashback program
2004
Rollout of Chip and PIN begins in earnest, with a completion date of 2005

(Data taken from : http://www.cardsense.co.uk/credit-card-history.html)

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