The History — and Future– of Credit Cards

Vintage Credit Card

The History — and Future– of Credit Cards

The New Year’s cusp is always a good time for looking both forwards – -and backwards.  Especially when one considers how fast the whole passing parade… passes by! in this vintage credit Card evolution.

A Colorful Holiday Reading: The Credit Card Fiasco

For some colorful holiday reading about the history of credit cards, we refer you this article by Bloomberg, on a Christmas-season “fiasco” occasioned by Chicago banks, getting into the then-new credit card biz.

Fascinating Background and Early Beginnings

The background is quite captivating. Many of you might remember the original form of Visa, the “BankAmericard,” launched by Bank America in the late ’50s. Initially, this foray into the credit card market, then dominated by Diners Club, marked an exploratory step. Surprisingly, the initial limited applications of credit cards did not appeal to most banks as a lucrative venture until the mid-60s. Subsequently, a surge of banks eagerly jumped on board.

The Era of Strict Banking Regulations

Again, it’s hard to recall an era when there were fairly strict regulations on banks — once upon a time, they couldn’t bundle up weak mortgages with bad ones! — and in those days, even having subsidiary branches was strictly limited (never mind the far-futuristic ideas of virtual wallets or online shopping!).

Advances in Credit Card Security

EMVCo’s Role Expansion

EMVCo now encompasses e-commerce and contactless payment standards, evolving beyond traditional chip-based cards. This includes the development of new security standards like 3-D Secure 2.0.

Growth of Contactless Payments

Contactless credit cards, enhanced with EMV chips and NFC technology, have become more prevalent, offering enhanced security and convenience. For more details, refer to

Embracing Change and Looking Forward

But the larger lesson may be that change –as in other businesses — is the only constant. And in the year ahead, your customers will be getting more acclimated to mobile processing, their aforementioned virtual wallets, and more, and it will be important to “meet them where they live,” so to speak.

Preparing for the Future

Contact your AVPS rep to find out what changes you might want to make in 2013, what you can do to make things more convenient for current customers, and ways to attract new ones!

A Farewell to the Year

This is our last blog post of the year, and we wish you all happiness for the year ahead! May the memories you take with you be the uplifting,  and soul-burnishing ones!

Signing Off Until Next Year

See you after the calendar change!