Asked by: indigo
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I’m about to write my essay on history of credit cards…Can you help?
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Penny Taylor on Jun 06, 2011
Before I write my essay on the history of credit cards, I should begin by explaining the concept of credit. Credit is an arrangement in which a buyer can take possession of something and pay for it at a later time or over a period of time. I should also remember to look how the credit system works before I write my essay so I have some background on my topic.
When I write my essay on the history of credit cards, I should start from as early as the ancient times. The concept of credit was already being used as far back as 3000 years ago. It was frequently used in Assyria, Babylon and Egypt. Debts were often paid in one-third cash and two-thirds bill of exchange.
The first credit advertisement came in 1730 when Christopher Thornton offered furniture that could be paid off weekly.
From the 18th century up to the earlier part of the 20th century, tallymen sold clothes in exchange for small weekly payments. These sellers were called tallymen because they kept a record or tally of what people bought on a wooden stick.
Credit continued on in the 1920s when stores and hotels offered it to consumers who did not want to travel back to their hometowns just to get cash from the bank. There was a “buy now, pay later” system that was introduced during that time. However, it was in 1950 that credit cards really caught on. Diners Club announced that they would be having their own credit card (made out of cardboard) available for us in 27 restaurants in New York City. American Express (who was then known for traveler’s checks) released its own card in 1958, the same time Bank of America sent its initial 60,000 cards (now known as Visas) to the residents of Fresno, California.
Using magnetic stripes on cards first happened in the early 1960s when the London Transit Authority installed a magnetic stripe system. From there, credit cards with magnetic strips continued to boom across the United States.
With that, I can write my essay on the history of credit cards.
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