1. The appearance of credit cards is predicted in the XIX century
The assumption that in the stores of the future people will begin to pay not in cash, but with credit cards, was first expressed by the author of utopian novels of a socialist orientation Edward Bellamy of USA… IN 1888 year he published a novel “Looking back“. The hero of this work, after a long lethargic sleep, falls into the future – in 2000.
Upon awakening, the protagonist of the novel saw that the US economy had turned into one powerful state corporation – the Industrial Army. All citizens of the country between the ages of 21 and 45 were required to work in this corporation. In exchange for labor, the state issued cards to people with a certain limit. Using these cards, workers could buy all the necessary things for themselves, including in stores similar to modern supermarkets.
2. The first credit card appeared in the USA
The first real credit cards also appeared in USA, in 1950 year… How did this happen? It is said that the director of the Hamilton Credit Corporation named Frank McNamara once dined at a restaurant in New York. When the time came to pay the establishment, Frank found that he had forgotten his wallet at home (his wife had to pay for the lobsters and wine).
And then an idea came to Frank’s head: it would be nice to come up with a card that you can pay without having cash in your wallet. Soon F. McNamara founded a club of restaurant lovers Diners club… This club issued credit cards to its members. The received cards could be used to pay at those establishments that entered into an agreement with Diners Club.
Club members got the opportunity not to carry thick wallets with cash to restaurants. Lunches and dinners were paid for by the lender. Once a month, members of the club were sent invoices that had to be paid within 2 weeks. The commission for the provision of such amenities was 5-7% of the invoice amount, plus $ 5 per year for servicing the card.
McNamara’s project has been very successful. Ten years later (by the end of the 50s of the last century), the Diners Club had more than 20 thousand members. Club credit cards were accepted by 285 restaurants.
3. The first bank cards were not plastic
We are already accustomed to the fact that cards with which you can pay for purchases in stores are made of lightweight and durable plastic. Let us note in parentheses that now people are increasingly beginning to use virtual digital “cards” that do not have any physical medium.
However, the first credit cards issued by Diners Club were manufactured not made of plastic, but made of cardboard…
For the first time, a plastic card was also issued in the USA, in 1960. This was done by a well-known financial company American Express… Her card had a magnetic stripe. Since 1975, electronic memory has been installed on American Express cards.
4. The first card in the USSR was received by Gorbachev
The first payment cards in the USSR began to issue Vneshtorgbank in 1988 year by agreement with the Eurocard / MasterCard payment system. True, not all citizens could get such plastic, but only party functionaries, diplomatic employees or heads of large enterprises. Card number 1 was issued to the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee M.S. Gorbachev… However, Mikhail Sergeevich practically did not use it, and almost immediately handed over his copy to the museum.
The first cards for mass consumers began to be issued in 1989 Savings Bank of the USSR in cooperation with the cooperative (as small enterprises were called then) “Aktiv-S”. Residents of the Dzerzhinsky district of Moscow could arrange a new financial instrument. These cards were supposed to replace them with passbook holders. It was possible to withdraw cash from such plastic at ATMs, but it was impossible to pay with it in stores (since at that time there was not enough necessary equipment).
The cost of issuing bank plastic was 30 rubles (for comparison: the average salary in the USSR in 1989 was 217 rubles). However, the first users were given the cards free of charge in order to popularize the useful product among the masses.
5. Now in Russia there are more cards than people
In modern Russia (as of April 1, 2020) there are bank cards 284 million pieces… At the same time, the population of our country is 146 million people. It turns out that there are 1.93 bank cards per resident, including infants and the elderly, in modern Russia. True, of all the cards in the hands of the population, only 194 million are active.
Why would a person apply for more than one card? In most cases, the reason lies in the increased cashback. Different banks return a larger percentage of the funds spent in different categories. To get increased cashback in all interesting categories, a person gets cards from different banks.
6. Elite credit cards for the elite
Often, bank employees themselves call people and literally persuade them to get a credit card. However, there are also some products that cannot be obtained by simply submitting an application to a financial institution. Elite cards can be issued only if a person receives a special invitation from the bank.
Such elite products include, for example, Dubai First Royale MasterCard – Royal card of Dubai First bank. Only members of the royal family ruling in the United Arab Emirates, as well as “persons close to the emperor” can issue this “plastic”.
The Dubai First Premium Card is trimmed with gold and features a diamond on the face. This credit card does not have any specific limit. Its owner can afford everything, no matter how much it costs. Currently, no more than 200 people are holders of this card.
7. Who has the largest collection of credit cards?
The largest number of credit cards issued by a California resident Walter Cavan… In 2005, his collection included 1,497 credit cards… With this indicator, Walter got into the Guinness Book of Records. And in his hometown, he received the nickname “Mister Plastic Fantastic.” Mr. Cavan’s impressive collection is kept in a 76-meter long wallet. Weighs this “wallet” is about 17 Kg…
Walter Cavan’s cards are issued by various banks as well as airlines, gas stations, cafes and other institutions. The limit of these cards is from $ 50 to $ 150,000. If Walter were willing to spend all the credit limit, you could purchase goods and services in the amount of 2 million dollars…
Despite the incredible number of cards, Mr. Kavan’s credit history is nearly perfect. For its intended purpose, he uses only one copy, and accurately deposits money on the account. Kavan has a special rule: he never borrows more than the amount he can repay within 2 months.
The California resident has been collecting his collection since 1971. During all this time, only one bank refused to issue a credit card. The reason was: “You already have too many credit cards.”
8. Breaking a plastic card is as easy as shelling pears
To break a plastic card in half, the human body needs to spend 10 calories… For comparison: when cleaning an apartment, a person weighing 70 kg spends 240,000 calories per hour.
9. Issuing credit cards is the most profitable business for banks
Banks make more money by issuing plastic cards with a credit limit to the population than by other types of lending (consumer loans, mortgage lending, car loans). According to statistics from the Central Bank of Russia, in February 2021, the average UCS (full cost of the loan) by cards with a limit of up to 300 thousand rubles was 21.34%. For comparison, the average CPM of non-earmarked loans for the same amount is 14.11%.
10. Theft of money from plastic cards has become widespread
In 2019 scammers kidnapped from maps of Russians 6.5 billion rubles… It turns out that every day attackers steal 17.8 million rubles from cardholders in Russia. On average, after contact with a criminal, people lose about 10 thousand rubles.
The main method used by fraudsters is the so-called social engineering: criminals ensure that the victim herself gives them secret information about his card. How does this happen?
Most often, attackers call on behalf of a bank employee. They report, for example, that someone is trying to withdraw a large amount of money from the victim’s account. If this is not done by the cardholder himself, then he is offered to cancel the suspicious transaction. To cancel the transfer, you need to inform the fake “bank employee” of the code that is sent to the cardholder in an SMS message.
After the person calls the transaction confirmation code, the scammers will write off the money from his account. In fact, this code should not be disclosed to anyone under any circumstances. Real bank employees never ask for such information.
You can choose a credit card with the most favorable conditions on this page. You can order a debit card to pay with sellers using your own funds here.