A history of credit and debit cards in the UK
By Marianne Curphey
It's been five decades since the first UK credit card debuted, and it has revolutionised the way Brits pay. The history of credit is, however, much older, and the journey to the way we use credit -- and debit -- today is lengthy.
The idea of credit began in 1880, when the first credit voucher product was introduced in the UK by Provident Clothing Group.1 From the late 1800s to 1930s, charge coins made from celluloid, copper, aluminium or other types of metals, and stamped with an account number and merchant's name, were used to pay for goods.2
From there, the idea to use cards came about, and the concept grew until we reached today's chip-and-PIN cards.
Published: 14 June 2016
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