Payments using credit have been around for more than 100 years, but the use of electricity to process credit payments is slightly newer. Western Union developed the technology to make electronic money transfers as early as 1860, but it was not until the invention of the charge card in the 1940s and 1950s that people started carrying around cards that allowed them to defer payment for goods and services.
As consumers learned about the convenience and practicality of charge and credit cards, their popularity increased. The first such cards were offered on a vendor-specific basis, meaning they were only valid at a single retail location. Then, in 1966, Bank of America introduced the first plastic, all-purpose credit card. In the following years, credit card issuers introduced processing systems that cut the costs of accepting credit cards for banks and merchants.
Today, the omnipresence of credit cards makes online commerce possible, and Americans tend to favor electronic payment methods over other options.
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Retriever Powered by NTC joined the emerging electronic payment industry in the 1960s. Today, it remains a leading force in the field of electronic processing equipment, services, and support for small- and medium-sized businesses.