Credit cards, on which a majority of us heavily depend, have a long history. Here are some interesting facts about these little plastic cards.
Credit cards were in use since the 19th century
Yes, you read that right! Credit cards are not a 21st-century invention. Back in the 19th and early 20th century, farmers would use credit cards at local stores for quite some part of the year as their income was seasonal. These credit cards, which were made of cardboard, were issued by the local general stores to identify which account belonged to whom.
There are 10,000 credit card transactions per second across the globe
As per estimates made in March 2009 by the American Bankers Association, approximately 10,000 credit card transactions take place every second across the globe.
A checksum formula can validate credit card numbers
It is possible to determine if a credit card number is valid as every such number follows the Luhn algorithm. When you apply this formula, every second digit from the right is doubled. For example, 1111 would become 2121. The resulting digits are then added together. If the final result is divisible by 10, the credit card number is valid. If not, it is an invalid number.
Single women could only get credit cards after 1974
It was not until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974 that single women could get credit cards. Before that, women were denied credit cards without a husband being listed as a cosigner. As per the 1974 Act, it was illegal for creditors to discriminate against applicants on the basis of gender, race, marital status, religion, national origin, or color.
All the credit cards on earth, if laid end-to-end, would circle the globe 3.5 times
As of 2013, if all the credit cards across the globe were laid end-to-end, they would circle the earth not once, but three and a half times! This is because they would cover over 86,981 miles.
Your credit card expires, not your account
Every credit card has a validity of 3-4 years, post which it expires, and you are given a new card by the issuer. Usually, the issuer automatically sends a new card before your old card expires. However, it is only your card which comes with an expiration date of the like, not your account.