The concept of the bank card was first developed in the novel by Edward Bellamy from 1888 – “A Look Back: 2000:1887.”
In the early twentieth century for the convenience of customers and drivers commercial stored and person station began issuing their own loyalty cards. These cards facilitated and accelerated the goods’ purchasing process. Unlike the contemporary cards, which are used for their comfort, their predecessors’ main aim was to create loyalty and added value for the customers.
Yet the first payment card, which is close to the modern one was issued in 1950 by Diner’s club with the sole purpose of paying in prestigious restaurants. The name of the card owner was written on one side of the card and on the other were the names of the restaurants, where it would be used.
In 1958 American Express put that start of the bank card, such as we know it today. American Express and their innovative PVC cards aimed at traveling businessman were quickly followed by Bank of America and other big banks.
The different information carrier, which are contained in a bank card, develop relatively slow in time. The first information carrier was the embossing, which represents the card number, the name of the card holder and the expiry date of the card. More than 20 years later, in the mid-70s did the concept of a magnetic stripe as an information carrier appear. And once again more than 20 years later, during the 90s the idea of the chip was born. For the past 60 years the embossing is still present on our bank cards and in some countries, such as Ukraine, Mexico, Israel and others, the information from a bank card is retrieved from the oldest information carrier.
Although the chip technology has now excited for almost 30 years, there are still some countries, which have not fully migrated to this technology. In the past few years many new technologies such as the contactless payments have come into use. However, due to the large volume of bank cards, the old information carriers such as the magnetic stripe will remain relevant for many years.
Despite the technological advances, our bank cards still look and work the same way as they did 50 years ago.