Credit Card

Contributed by Daniel Cook

Credit is a method of selling goods or services without the buyer having cash in hand. A credit card is only an automatic way of offering credit to a consumer. Today, every credit card carries an identifying number that speeds shopping transactions. Imagine what a credit purchase would be like without it. The sales person would have to record your identity, billing address and terms of repayment.

Credit cards make the world seem smaller as money can be transferred accross the globe safely in seconds. It also highlights that the smooth running of the world's finances is dependent upon such a small object with the microchip contained within the credit card being the size of an average thumb nail.

From a negative point of view, this small (insignificant) object can be the cause of great misery placing people into a life time of debt, especially as one person can own multiple credit cards. It can also be central to organised criminal activity with a person's financial details being sold to the highest bidder.

The credit card's place in the history of mankind is an example of great technology which can be used both as a force for good and bad.

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first used in Europe during the 1890s


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