The concept of giving customers credit is not new.

Back in the late 1800’s, consumers and merchants exchanged goods by having credit coins or charge plates. Merchants would issue plates or coins made out of metal, which was embossed with the customer’s name and identification number. These coins or plates allowed customers to buy things, and pay the funds at a later date.

Oil companies and department stores issued their own proprietary cards in the early 1900’s, and were only available for purchases made within that company.

Convenience quickly caught on, and the first credit card that allowed you to go from location to location to make purchases was introduced in the mid 1940’s.

The rest, as they say, is history. Credit cards have had a major impact on our lives over the last half-century.

Today, however, we are beginning to see a change with the next credit revolution. More and more purchases are made online, without ever leaving your home. And because you are making a purchase from your home, the importance of having a credit card in hand ready to swipe is losing its usefulness. Add in the fact that completing an online transaction with a credit card is riddled with potential problems, and its easy to see why people are demanding a more secure way.

Enter mobile commerce. Mobile wallets provide payment through digitized networks. Consumers can complete a transaction by swiping a mobile device with their mobile phone, or may even bump mobile phones together. With security functions in place on both ends, it’s a much safer way of completing a transaction than relying on old technology – your credit card.

Will credit cards be a thing of the past five years from now? Only time will tell.

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