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The_Credit_Card_-_Quick_History

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Title:
The Credit Card - Quick History

Word Count:
432

Summary:
The advent of wide-spread credit card use was not seen until the 1920's.
At that point in time credit cards were not recognizable as the powerful
buying tool they are today.


Keywords:
credit card, credit cards


Article Body:
Common enough today, a model of the credit card in it's current form was
first invented by a fiction writer in early 1887. Edward Bellamy, author
of "Looking Backward", mentions the credit card in the context of a
utopian and socialist American society of the distant future. His hero
falls into a hypnotic time traveling trance and is whisked forward
through the time a full century, ending up in Boston in the year 2000, a
place where he is able to make purchases using a commonly held piece of
plastic. Credit however evolved long before the concept of carrying it
around on a piece of plastic. Credit and debt have been the driving
force behind achievements ranging from people working their way out of
debt to a land-holder, etc...

The advent of wide-spread credit card use was not seen until the 1920's.
At that point in time credit cards were not recognizable as the powerful
buying tool they are today. There use was fragmented, and very often
just tied to specific merchants rather than specific banks or as it is
today. Later, carrying and using a credit card was just a way to use
your money when you were away from your banking institution, a common use
today, that debit cards have largely absorbed.

Still later, came partial or revolving payments. Initially, most issuers
required credit card balances to be paid in full at the end of every
month or pre-determined period. With the introduction of "revolving
credit" came the realization that these cards were not just convenient
for the user but could provide large amounts of revenue to anyone who
wanted to tap into the strong desire to consume. This desire, coupled
with new products and the convenience and care-free feel of handing over
a card instead of cash has led some critics to believe that credit cards
may have been responsible in part for The Great Depression of the 1920's.

Though different in many ways, the modern incarnation of the credit card
relies on the same trusts and understandings as its earliest counter-
parts. The card is not cash, but a representation of cash, sometime of
resources that don't exist.   The credit card taps into a history of
human commercial interaction, created by necessity and re-imagined
hundreds of times on its way to 2007. In the future, some predict that we
will be living in a paper-less world. Many people believe that every
money transaction will be purchased with a credit card from a cab fair to
candy from a machine. The credit card has and continues to stand the
grueling test of time.

				
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