How did card payments overtake cheques and cash? Read on for some interesting facts.
Nowadays it is hard to imagine not having your trusted credit or debit card with you. It has surpassed being something to use if you run out of cash and become an entire substitute for it for most people. It is also hard to believe that this technology was unheard of before 1978 when America’s First National Bank first offered their patrons the ability to guarantee payment with the use of a card.
This new form of payment worked initially in the same form as a cheque and was only offered to exclusive and wealthy clients of the bank, those with enough assets as to ensure the validity of the payment. It was not until 1984 that the debit card payment was introduced on a larger scale to an open market. This involved the installation of thousands of ATM machines which facilitated the notion of taking money directly from a person’s account, making them much easier to gain than their 70s predecessors. This whole new idea of not needing cash with you was incredibly popular and their use skyrocketed until, in 1998, it was recorded that debit card payments had overtaken cheques. The demand and use of cards and the offers that go with them did not simmer down either, thanks in a large part to the Internet.
The Internet has had a massive impact on both shopping and banking. The ability to use your card to purchase goods online, from anywhere in the world, at the touch of a button has revolutionised the way we think about consumerism. It is no longer about getting people out of their houses and in to your establishment, it is about offering the client the best, easiest and most convenient ways to get the goods they want. The online market is insanely lucrative and despite the recent economic downturn, online shopping habits have not seemed to change. It is about simplicity and card payments offer that all over the world.
In the past, it was considered safer to use your card as opposed to carrying large amounts of cash but with the use of card comes the perils of fraud. Keeping safe is simple if you take steps to ensure your PIN and identity are not open to theft. It can be easier to keep all your cards under the same PIN but beware, if your wallet is stolen, the thief has access to every aspect of your life and every account you hold. Precaution should be taken but most of the time it requires just diligence and common sense.
It seems it will be a long time before any other method of payment overtakes the credit or debit card. It remains the easiest and most convenient way to part with cash, also offering the customer a thorough record of everything they have bought. With the rise of online banking, the use of your card has never been easier to track and with banks offering numerous ways to protect you from fraud, there really is no other way to spend. Having said that, it was not so long ago that you had to get your chequebook out to make those large payments, a form that has now become basically obsolete. Perhaps with the current influx of technological advances we may find something else to replace cards. Some cards now come with contactless payment, where a simple touch of the card to a magnetic surface will debit your account immediately. Considering how far payments with cards have come in the past thirty years, it will be interesting to see what the next thirty years has in store!
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