What started with a pepperoni pizza in 1994… 

Credit card usage has grown exponentially since the launch of Barclaycard in 1966 and card payments overall from the first debit card, also from Barclays, in 1987.  The move from paper vouchers to electronic processes led to greater growth in businesses offering card acceptance but entry and fixed monthly costs still meant that, until relatively recently, a card terminal were less common in smaller businesses.  

The arrival of the internet led to the development of e-commerce.  According to Wikipedia “The first online food order was a pizza from Pizza Hut in 1994”. However although the order for a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza with extra cheese was placed online, revolutionary for its time, it was little more than an online order form, as the order was then verified by a phone call and payment made on delivery.   To link together the whole transaction online required a complex payment gateway connection to link the order with the payment.

Systems developed further with the launch of pioneers such as Amazon in 1994 and the beginnings of online orders with payment online by credit card (although you could still phone and give your credit card details over the phone). However, the technology costs still meant that these were large scale solutions for large scale businesses.

The growth of card, online and mobile payment acceptance has increased as digital technology has developed in recent years and further fuelled by the pandemic.  The payment solutions initially available to the multi-nationals has now been replaced by capability at everyone’s fingertips, literally, in the smart phones carried by nearly 4 billion people across the globe today.

Read our guest blog on the Card Industry Professionals website:

Integrated Payment Systems – digital solutions where size no longer matters

Click on the image to access the article.