Bank of America issued the first bank credit card called Bank AmeriCard in California in 1958. Now credit cards are commonplace and used everywhere from doctors’ offices to big box stores and online. How have credit card impacted society over the last half a century? Here’s are some ways business owners and customers have enjoyed the benefits of credit card payments.
Credit Cards Boost Sales and Revenue
The surge in credit card use allows consumers to buy expensive items or take vacations they otherwise could not afford. Shoppers can spread purchase and interest payments out over time. This is one reason merchants who accept credit card payments can increase revenue. Also, your customers may not have cash on hand for small, spur-of-the-moment purchases. They can just take out a credit card instead of visiting a bank or ATM.
Rewards Cards Fuel Credit Card Use
Thanks in part to rewards programs that offer cash, travel, and merchandise, consumers use their credit cards for everyday purchases like gas and groceries. The ability to add tips to credit card purchases makes it easy for restaurant customers to charge their meals too. If you need restaurant credit card processing, look for vendors that provide wireless transactions so waitstaff can complete charge transactions at the customer’s table to save time and limit fraud.
Credit Cards Support New Ways to Shop
Image via Flickr by Witches Falls Cotages
Credit cards enable customers to shop online quickly and easily. Business owners simply set up a merchant account and payment gateway along with a website to accept internet payments. Accepting credit cards can also boost your online store’s credibility and build trust. Payment services such as PayPal even make it possible for consumers to shop online without sending credit card details to your system.
Customers expect flexible choices when using credit cards today. Due to the rise of smartphones, shoppers don’t need to have their credit cards handy when they shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Once a shopper uploads credit card details to an app like Apple Pay or Google Pay, the customers can leave the cards in their wallets and pay using their phones.
Security Features Limit Fraud
Today’s credit cards make payments more secure since the process is completely electronic. Shop owners have less exposure to issues caused by checks including checks returned for non-sufficient funds and check fraud. New card technology like chip cards further combat fraud issues. The microchip embedded in the card adds an extra layer of encryption to protect the card data during the transaction. Business owners may save money on fees by utilizing chip card processing.
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While credit cards were rare in the late 1950s, they are now part of everyday life. The advent and growth of credit cards stimulate economic growth since consumers can make larger and more frequent purchases, putting more money into shop owners’ pockets. Credit card use does not show signs of slowing down in the future. In fact, Experian reports that in 2017, the average credit card balance increased to $6,375 per person, while credit scores also rose to an average of 675.