All About Payment Card Essay

1258 WordsOct 11, 20146 Pages
All About Payment Cards Payment cards offer consumers more security, convenience, and control than any other payment method. The wide variety of cards available – including credit, debit and prepaid – offers enormous flexibility, as well. Payment cards give people the power to purchase items in stores, on the Internet, through mail-order catalogues and over the telephone. They save merchants time and money, enable them to attract and retain more customers, and help them grow their businesses. The Origin of Payment Cards Although the first payment card can be traced back to the local “Charg-It” card introduced by John Biggins in his Brooklyn neighborhood in 1946, the Franklin National Bank in New York formalized the practice by introducing the first bank-issued credit card in 1951. Over the next decade, several banks emerged in major cities to work with customer merchants to accept payment cards. However, this system limited consumers’ use of payment cards to an area restricted by the regional banks’ merchant customers. The concept of a wider payment network was born in the mid-1960s when the InterBank Card Association (now MasterCard Worldwide) brought consistency to credit cards. InterBank developed payment network systems to process the exchange of funds between merchants and cardholders, standardized the billing process, and established rules and procedures to reduce fraud and other abuses. The first debit transaction, using an automatic teller machine (ATM) card and personal identification number (PIN) to make a purchase at the point of sale (POS), occurred in the 1980s, and the first debit transaction authorized by a signature rather than a PIN was processed in 1988. Prepaid cards, in the form of gift cards, have been around since the 1970s but have more recently emerged as a widespread form of payment. “Closed-loop” cards are limited to specific merchants, and

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