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According to the BBC, UK payments have seen major changes in relatively recent history. The way we transfer money and pay our bills has developed rapidly – so let’s take a look at key events that have shaped the way we pay:
1659: The earliest cheque was drawn
Believe it or not, the earliest handwritten cheque can be traced back to the 16 th February 1659. That’s right; it was drawn on an account at Clayton and Morris (a London-based bank) and started a new trend throughout the UK. While early cheques were often used by merchants and traders, they soon became popular and were incorporated into everyday use.
1694: The Bank of England was established
In 1964, the Bank of England was established and used to raise money for King William III’s war against France. All banknotes were handwritten and from 1696 were not issued for sums of less than £50. As the average person’s wage was only £20, most people never came into contact with a bank note, meaning they were mostly for the elite.
1793: Currency started to develop
The Bank of England issued the first £5 note in 1793 and by 1855 the first fully printed notes came into circulation. This was all very exciting, but real change came in 1966 when the first UK credit card was introduced. By 2008, 30.8 million people were using a credit card to make purchases and in 1987 the first debit card was introduced.
1997: Internet banking services
As the internet became more popular, the first internet banking services were introduced in 1997. While the technology was groundbreaking at the time, 2003 saw the introduction of a Chip and PIN service which made things even more secure and impressive. Chip and PIN cards were issued throughout the UK and a microchip was used to store data on a card. These are still popular today and have changed the way we shop.
2012: PayPal and phone services
Everything from reward credit cards to cash back credit cards and specialist credit cards are popular these days, but there are other ways to pay. PayPal has made it easier than ever to transfer money and now you can even pay bills using your phone. There are sure to be other developments in the pipeline too, so watch this space.
The way we pay has changed significantly, but it’s good to remember how everything started.