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Adam Aiken, Editor
Friday, July 1, 2011
It is 45 years since the first Barclaycard was issued – and the financial landscape has altered in so many ways since then.
You would need £11.26 today to buy something that cost £1 in 1966, but it’s not just our spending power that has changed.
It took 38 years from the launch of Barclaycard, the first credit card to be launched, for spending on plastic to overtake spending with cash, but the use of cards is now steaming ahead. According to the UK Cards Association, last year there were two billion credit card transactions made, with transactions totalling £136bn, and Barclaycards are now used nearly 33,000 times an hour.
And the technology is continuing to evolve: thanks to the arrival of contactless mobile payments in the UK, it is now possible to buy goods of up to £15 or under with a simple tap of a mobile telephone.
It might be only five years until Barclaycard and credit cards in general reach their half-century milestone, but expect the picture to have changed substantially by then once again.