Sunday, June 19, 2022

The first payment card

Credit cards first emerged in the United States with retailer Cooperwaite ad Sons of New York just before the turn of the century.

Western Union introduced “metal money” in 1914, a metal plate given to select customers allowing them to defer payment.

By 1924 gas credit cards appeared on the scene, the first cards that could be used at merchants all over the country.

This was an important advance, because as automobiles became more common so did traveling, and a gas card that was not accepted away from home had limited value.

The General Petroleum Corporation of California, later Mobil Oil, issued metal cards to employees and customers cards for gas and repair services in 1924 that could only be used the company’s sales outlets. This was the first store cards.

The idea proved so popular that the company extended it to preferred customers and eventually to the general public.

In 1939 AT&T rolled out the Bell System Credit Card, which was essentially a calling card for business travelers.

The first universal credit card, which could be used at a variety of establishments, was introduced by the Diners’ Club, Inc., in 1950.
The first payment card

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