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How Payment Processing Has Changed in 50 Years

50 years ago, it was 1965. Just in those five decades, a lot changed in the realm of payment processing.

Nothing was really happening in 1965. But things picked up in 1966. This was the year when 14 banks gathered in New York, forming the Interbank Card Association (ICA). This association of banks now had the ability (coupled with rules for authorization, clearing, and settlement) to exchange credit card transaction information. Yay for communication!

Three years later, the first United States ATM was installed in New York at the Rockville Center in 1969. While popular for quite some time, this leap has taken a step back thanks to the launch of mobile and tablet availability—more on this later.

In the early 1970s, electronic authorizations allowed retail merchants to get approvals for their credit card transactions 24 hours a day. This availability was a major change to the industry. By the mid-1970s, credit cards had become popular worldwide.

In the late-1970s, electronic processing had improved to the point that dial-up terminals’ magnetic strips allowed retailers to swipe a customer’s card, access the issuing bank’s cardholder information, and complete settlements in minutes. Will the wonders never cease?

VeriFone came onto the scene in 1981 with its first point-of-sale (POS) system. Two years later, the ZON terminal was introduced—the first modern POS terminal.

In 1987, members of American Express were allowed to make payments over an extended period of time, instead of just the end of the month.

It’s hard to believe that even a mere two decades ago, credit card processing was still thought of as a “new” concept. Some places of business would only accept certain kind of cards, or just not take them at all. “Cash or check only, please.” Remember those days? (Or am I the only one feeling old?)

In 2005, Matt Hoskins founded PayProTec. It has flourished as an electronic payments leader and serves more than 10,000 merchant locations nationwide. (Don’t be left behind!). Read more about who we are on our About Us page.

And then came 2007—when Apple introduced the iPhone for consumers instead of strictly for businesses. This has been the biggest game-changer in payment processing in recent years. Smartphones and tablets now allow the POS system to be mobile and cheaper (it doesn’t cost as much as the “dumber” cash register). It is the cash register and credit card terminal combined into one efficient device.

By 2011, paper checks became practically nonexistent thanks to so much payment processing going electronic and paperless.

Today, your business is expected to accept credit and debit cards, and preferably offer e-commerce options as well. If you need to upgrade this aspect of your company, we can help—contact us today!

For a broader look at the changes in payment processing over history, read this blog post.

We look forward to being a part of the changes that will come in the next 50 years.

Leilani Squires

The Director of Content at 212 Media Studios, Leilani Squires has several years’ experience in writing, editing, and publishing. She has a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing from Taylor University and a master’s degree in Communications from Regent University.

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