Credit card payments celebrate 50th anniversary


This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first credit cards issued to UK consumers.

Using the same computer technology as the Bank of America and operating out of a small office of only 30 staff members, the new payment method was launched from a converted shoe factory in Northampton.

Upon introduction, customers were attracted by benefits such as easier book-keeping method and a reduction in the amount of cash to carry around. The scheme was targeted to those who travelled and spent a lot in restaurants, alongside the everyday shopper.

Aims were to introduce the new payment method to one million UK citizens, looking to bring credit card payments to 30,000 outlets across the country. Within one year, they had reached their goal, and the amount of UK citizens making credit card payments has continued to grow ever since.

Although consumers now often reach for their credit cards when making a large purchase, upon launch the cards could only make payments up to a value of £25. Similarly, at first the maximum credit limit was £100, whilst now the average credit card limit is £4,000. The introduction of credit cards brought a breakthrough for female consumers, allowing them to receive credit without a male guarantor for the first time ever.

In 2014, the number of cardholders in the United Kingdom reached 159 million, with 13.4 billion transactions made to a total of £622 billion spent in 2015.

Does your business need to take credit card payments? Get in touch with one of our friendly advisors and give your customers a different way to pay!

Financial disclaimer:

Terminal hire contracts are provided by Merchant Rentals Limited, who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Consumer Hire under FRN 720500. Terminal hire can be for consumer hire and non-regulated hire contracts. Please check your contract carefully for details. Regulation of all consumer hire fall under the control of the FCA.

Handepay Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA for Consumer Credit under FRN 673564. Handepay is a credit broker for consumer hire not a lender.

Handepay acts as an introducer of card acquiring services on behalf of EVO Payments UK, the card acquiring service provider. EVO Payments UK is the trading name of EVO Payments UK Ltd, a payment institution that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN number 959332).

Existing Cards Businesses- The one-month rolling terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are switching from their current acquirer to EVO Payments UK arranged through Handepay.

New to Cards Businesses- The 12-month terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are new to card payments and wish to receive acquiring services from EVO Payments UK, arranged through Handepay.

The Next Day Banking Settlement service provided by EVO Payments UK incurs an additional fee of £4 a month on top of your acquiring service charges and fees. Provided your card machine performs a reconciliation before 12am (midnight), you’ll receive settlement of funds the next banking day.

Editorial disclaimer:

The information we provide does not constitute financial advice and might not apply to your business. Always carry out research into your business’ needs when choosing a new merchant services provider.

Sometimes, we link to other third-party websites to provide you with additional information. At the time of publication, we consider the information accurate, however, we do not have control over their content and are not responsible if any information on these websites change.

The products we display on our website are for illustrative purposes only - if your business requires additional facilities, you may receive a different model than advertised.

All of the information contained on this website, including fees, services and functionality, are correct at time of publishing. E&OE.

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