Apr 24, 2015

Origin of Credit Cards

In 1949, Frank McNamara, an executive at the Hamilton Credit Corporation, was embarrassed to find himself short of cash when it came time to pay for a dinner with clients at a New York restaurant. Charge accounts were already common, allowing customers to add up a tab at certain establishments and pay it later, but those accounts were only for each specific business. McNamara had the idea of making a card which could be used at multiple unconnected upscale New York restaurants. Diners Club would pay the restaurant, and the diner would pay Diners Club, plus interest. Diners Club's had 20,000 members in its first year, who could use it to pay for services at 28 restaurants and two hotels.