The first credit card

The first credit card was conceived during a dinner among friends in 1949.
Frank McNamara had gone shopping with his friends next to the Empire State Building in New York. When dinner was over, McNamara reached for his wallet for cash to pay the bill but could not find it. He swore this would never happen to him again and merged the idea he came up with at the time, together with the fraud-free loans of credit cards, with the possibility of not having any cash on hand.

McNamara conceived a credit card that could be used in different stores, which would be innovative since there would be an intermediary between companies and their customers.

How was the first credit card born?

Given that people had to use several cards for each individual store, McNamara came up with an original idea: to create a unique credit card which would enable users to carry no cash at all. Together with Bloomingdale and Sneider, he set up a company, Diners Club, in 1950.


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