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Long gone are the days when cash was the king of all payment methods. With progressing times, it has become imperative to move on and do away with dying traditional practices. The eminent financial instruments that have taken over the world of payments are cards. Since their creation, debit and credit cards have gradually gained importance in our daily lives. While a debit card allows us to access our money in a more hassle-free manner, a credit card enables us to get through tough situations by granting us interest-free credits for short periods.

 

The latter has not just helped to prevent losses but has also enabled us to get rewards and offers. You surely utilise your credit card strategically, after memorising its credit limit, offered interest rates, and perks. However, there is a lot more you don’t know about this plastic card that you rely on so heavily for your expenses. Here are seven fun facts about credit cards that you probably didn’t know:

1. Your credit card numbers are generated by using an algorithm

Did you know that your credit card number is based on a set algorithm? It’s just a matter of simple calculations and you can determine if the number is valid. From the right, start doubling every alternate digit. For example, if the number is 2222, it would become 4242. The next step is to add up all the resulting digits. Now, if this sum is divisible by 10, then it is a valid credit card number. However, the credit card number is invalid if the number is not a multiple of 10. This algorithm is known as the Luhn algorithm. It was named after the IBM Scientist who created it, Hans Peter Luhn, in 1954. So next time, if you want to affirm the authenticity of your credit card, simply use this algorithm!

2. First digit denotes the segment it falls under

Decoding the numbers on your credit card can reveal plenty of information. You can find out the segment your card belongs to, and the payment technology company under which it operates, from the first digit of your credit card number. For example, if the number starts with the digit ‘1’, an airline issued that card. Similarly, if your card starts from ‘3’, then your card belongs to American Express or Diners Club. This way you can easily identify the issuer of your card using the first digit.

3. All the world’s credit cards together could circle the earth 3.5 times

As per a survey conducted with the top 3 credit card service providers in the world, more than 1.65 billion credit cards are under circulation. The figures for Visa were 827 million, 718 million for Mastercard, and about 109 million for American Express. According to these numbers, if all the standard 3.375-inch credit cards in the world were placed side by side, they would cover a distance of about 1,41,702.74 km. This is over 3.5 times longer than the earth’s circumference.

4. There are 10,000 worldwide credit card transactions every second

You might have been worried about using a credit card, given the myths and fears that are constantly surrounding it. Perhaps, you think that many people refrain from making payments with a credit card. So, how many transactions do you think are being made using a credit card in the world right now? A few hundred? As per an estimate made in 2009, nearly 10,000 transactions occur every second globally. Credit card usage is increasing with every passing day! The number of transactions made worldwide using a credit card had been projected to be over 581 billion in 2021. Give up on your woes and ensure that you make the most of all the benefits that your credit card has to offer.

5. Cards expire not your account

Many companies will provide you with a new card before your card expires. You might have wondered why your card expires. This happens for two reasons. The first is that the physical life of the card is about three to four years, as it keeps deteriorating with the constant dipping and swiping. Secondly, it acts as a nugget of information you can have only if you are in possession of the card. This helps secure your account against potential fraud. If your card expires and you do not receive a new one, don’t panic; just contact your card provider. Your account is probably still active; all that you need is a new card to get started once more!

6. Credit card was discovered well before John Briggs

The concept of a credit card has been around since way earlier than the 20th century. Prior to John Briggs’s invention of the credit card in 1946, the idea of it was utilised in the 1800s. The first credit card was made of cardboard and used by farming communities. As the income was generally seasonal, farmers would take advantage of credit facilities in the local markets during the year ends. They would use a card made of cardboard to help identify the associated account. We can say that credit cards were invited before John Briggs and Frank McNamara introduced the concept to the global market.

7. Citibank was the first to introduce credit cards in India

Enough about world history! How did this beneficial financial instrument find its footing in India? Kali Mody introduced the first Diners Club credit card in India in 1961. Citibank was the first financial institution to profit from the rising global popularity of these cards. It became the first provider of Diners Club credit cards in the country. However, the industry gained momentum when Andhra Bank created its own card. Since then, the number of credit cards has risen exponentially, generating a compounded growth of 25% to 30% per year. As per January 2017 estimates, RBI claims that over 28.8 million cards were circulated in India that year.

 

Credit cards can be a lot of fun to learn about! We hope you learnt something new with the unique facts we presented here. These cards have grown vastly in popularity and usage over the years and there can be only one reason for this. The benefits and aid these provide to boost your finances, helping you make the most of your cash flow! If you are looking for options to analyse and select from, head on over to Bajaj Markets! Apply for a new card with incomparable ease and enjoy the benefits of your new credit card. Can’t wait to get started? Check out all the credit cards we have to offer right now!

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