What is Credit Card and Credit Card Specifications


What is Credit Card and Credit Card Specifications

What is Credit Card

A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder’s accrued obligation (i.e., promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges). The card issuer (usually a bank or credit union) creates a rotating account and grants a credit extension to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can get cash for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. There are two credit card groups: consumer credit cards and business credit cards. Most cards are plastic, but some are metal cards (stainless steel, gold, palladium, titanium), and a couple of gemstone-encrusted metal card.

A regular credit card is unique in relation to a charge card, which requires the balance to be repaid in full each month or at the finish of each statement cycle. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers to build a continuing balance of obligation, subject to interest being charged. A credit card differs from a charge card also in that a credit card typically involves an outsider substance that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer, whereas a charge card simply defers payment by the buyer until a later date.

A credit card also differs from a check card, which can be used like currency by the proprietor of the card.

In 2018, there were 1.12 billion credit cards in circulation in the U.S., and 72% of adults had at least one card.

The size of most credit cards is 85.60 by 53.98 millimeters (3+3⁄8 in × 2+1⁄8 in) and rounded corners with a radius of 2.88-3.48 millimeters (9⁄80-11⁄80 in) adjusting to the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard, the same size as ATM cards and other payment cards, such as charge cards.

Credit cards have a printed or embossed bank card number consenting to the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard. The card number’s prefix, called the Bank Identification Number (known in the industry as a BIN ), is the sequence of digits at the start of the number that decide the bank to which a credit card number belongs. This is the first six digits for MasterCard and Visa cards. The following nine digits are the individual account number, and the final digit is a validity check digit.

Both of these standards are maintained and further created by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17/WG 1. Credit cards have a magnetic stripe adjusting to the ISO/IEC 7813. Most present day credit cards use smart card innovation: they have a computer chip implanted in them as a security feature. In addition, complex smart cards, including peripherals such as a keypad, a display or a unique mark sensor are increasingly used for credit cards.

In addition to the main credit card number, credit cards also carry issue and expiration dates (given to the nearest month), as well as extra codes such as issue numbers and security codes. Complex smart cards allow to have a variable security code, thus increasing security for online transactions. Not all credit cards have the same sets of extra codes nor do they use the same number of digits.

Credit card numbers and cardholder names were originally embossed, to allow for easy transfer of such information to charge slips imprinted on carbon paper forms. With the downfall of paper slips, some credit cards are not generally embossed and in fact the card number is as of now not in that frame of mind In addition, some cards are presently vertical in design, rather than horizontal.

Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward

The idea of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward. Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times in this novel, although this alluded to a card for spending a resident’s profit from the public authority, rather than borrowing, making it more similar to a charge card.

Charge coins, medals, and so on

Charge coins and other similar items were used from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s. They came in various shapes and sizes; with materials made out of celluloid (an early kind of plastic), copper, aluminum, steel, and different types of whitish metals.Each charge coin usually had a little opening, enabling it to be put in a key ring, like a key. These charge coins were usually given to customers who had charge accounts in department stores, hotels, and so on. A charge coin usually had the charge account number along with the merchant’s name and logo.

The charge coin offered a simple and fast way to duplicate a charge account number to the sales slip, by engraving the coin onto the sales slip. This sped up the process of replicating, previously finished by handwriting. It also reduced the number of errors, by having a standardized type of numbers on the sales slip, instead of various kinds of handwriting style.

Because the customer’s name was not on the charge coin, almost anyone could use it. This sometimes prompted a case of mistaken character, either accidentally or intentionally, by acting on behalf of the charge account proprietor or out of malice to defraud both the charge account proprietor and the merchant. Starting during the 1930s, merchants started to move from charge coins to the more up to date Charga-Plate.

Early charge cards


The Charga-Plate, created in 1928, was an early predecessor of the credit card and was used in the U.S. from the 1930s to the late 1950s. It was a 2+1⁄2-by-1+1⁄4-inch (64 mm × 32 mm) rectangle of sheet metal related to Addressograph and military canine tag systems. It was embossed with the customer’s name, city, and state. It held a small paper card on its back for a signature. In recording a purchase, the plate was laid into a recess in the imprinter, with a paper “charge slip” positioned on top of it. The record of the transaction included an impression of the embossed information, made by the imprinter pressing an inked strip against the charge slip. Charga-Plate was a trademark of Farrington Manufacturing Co. Charga-Plates were issued by large-scale merchants to their regular customers, much like department store credit cards of today. In some cases, the plates were kept in the issuing store rather than held by customers. At the point when an authorized user made a purchase, a clerk recovered the plate from the store’s files and then, at that point, processed the purchase. Charga-Plates sped up back-office bookkeeping and reduced duplicating errors that were done manually in paper ledgers in each store.

Air Travel Card

In 1934, American Airlines and the Air Transport Association simplified the process much more with the advent of the Air Travel Card. They created a numbering scheme that distinguished the issuer of the card as well as the customer account. This is the reason the advanced UATP cards still start with the number 1. With an Air Travel Card, passengers could “buy now, and pay later” for a ticket against their credit and get a fifteen percent discount at any of the accepting airlines. By the 1940s, all of the major U.S. airlines offered Air Travel Cards that could be used on 17 distinct airlines. By 1941, about half of the airlines’ revenues came through the Air Travel Card agreement. The airlines had also started offering installment plans to lure new travelers up high. In 1948, the Air Travel Card became the first internationally valid charge card inside all members of the International Air Transport Association.

Early general purpose charge cards: Diners Club, Carte Blanche, and American Express

The idea of customers paying various merchants using the same card was expanded in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club, to consolidate multiple cards. The Diners Club, which was created partially through a consolidation with Dine and Sign, produced the first “general purpose” charge card and required the whole bill to be paid with each statement. That was trailed via Carte Blanche and in 1958 by American Express which created an overall credit card network (although these were initially charge cards that later acquired credit card features

BankAmericard and Master Charge

Until 1958, nobody had the option to successfully establish a spinning credit financial system in which a card issued by an outsider bank was generally accepted by a large number of merchants, as opposed to merchant-issued rotating cards accepted by a couple of merchants. There had been twelve attempts by small American banks, but not even one of them had the option to last extremely lengthy. In 1958, Bank of America launched the BankAmericard in Fresno, California, which would turn into the first successful recognizably current credit card. This card succeeded where others failed by breaking the chicken-and-egg cycle in which consumers would have rather not used a card that couple of merchants would accept and merchants would have rather not accepted a card that couple of consumers used.

Bank of America chose Fresno because 45% of its residents used the bank, and by sending a card to 60,000 Fresno residents on the double, the bank was able to persuade merchants to accept the card. It was eventually licensed to different banks around the United States and then, at that point, around the world, and in 1976, all BankAmericard licensees united themselves under the normal brand Visa. In 1966, the ancestor of MasterCard was conceived when a group of banks established Master Charge to rival BankAmericard; it got a significant boost when Citibank blended its own Everything Card, launched in 1967, into Master Charge in 1969.

Early credit cards in the U.S., of which BankAmericard was the most conspicuous example, were mass-produced and mass mailed unsolicited to bank customers who were thought to be great credit risks. They have been mailed off to unemployable individuals, drunks, narcotics addicts and to compulsive debtors, a process President Johnson’s Special Assistant Betty Furness found exceptionally like “giving sugar to diabetics”. These mass mailings were known as “drops” in banking wording, and were outlawed in 1970 due to the financial chao

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