This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Designed & handmade in Europe

What We Have in Our Wallets: A Brief History of Credit Cards in the World

Kreditkarten digitales Zahlen

Hello, dear reader! When you look in your wallet, what do you see? You'll probably find at least one credit or debit card in there. Today they are an essential means of carrying out our daily financial transactions. But have you ever wondered where and when the first credit cards were developed? Let's take a short historical excursion together.

The idea of ​​a “credit card” actually dates back to the 19th century. At that time, metal badges were issued to trustworthy customers in the United States to enable them to make purchases on credit. However, these credit stickers were a far cry from what we know as credit cards today. They were specific to the issuing dealer and often only contained simple information such as the customer's name.

The real turning point came in the 1950s with the introduction of the Diners Club Card, considered the first universal credit card. It was introduced in 1950 by Frank McNamara, a New York businessman, to allow businessmen to pay their restaurant bills on credit.

The concept proved so successful that other companies soon took it up. In 1958, American Express introduced its first credit card and that same year, Bank of America also launched the BankAmericard program (which later became Visa) in California.

In the 1960s, credit cards conquered the world. MasterCard, originally founded as Interbank/Master Charge, entered the picture, and American Express and Visa expanded internationally. Since then, credit cards have achieved unprecedented global acceptance and have become an integral part of our daily lives.

With the advancement of technology, credit cards have also undergone a huge transformation. From the initial paper cards with die-cut numbers, we have moved on to high-tech plastic cards with magnetic stripes and EMV chips. And more recently, mobile payments and digital wallets have further revolutionized the way we use credit cards.

Despite all the changes, one thing remains constant: the credit card is a symbol of our society's evolution towards an increasingly cashless economy. It has fundamentally changed our purchasing behavior and how we deal with money.

So the next time you pull out your credit card to pay for something, take a moment to reflect on their fascinating history. And as you look through your wallet, imagine how the cards inside might evolve in the future. In a world that is constantly changing, it is exciting to think about the next steps in the history of credit cards.