A history of innovation in payments

1966

The first credit card in the UK is issued by Barclaycard

1967

  • First cash machine introduced to the UK
  • The first ATMs predated plastic cards, so cheques impregnated with radioactive carbon 14 were used

1971

Britain officially switches to the decimal system and leaves behind shillings and florins, even though the currency had been circulating for a few years prior.

1976

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) sends first message, making electronic international financial transactions possible for the first time.

1980

Girobank establishes the first telephone banking system.

1987

The first debit card was issued by Barclays in 1987. Other banks followed soon after in 1988.

1990

  • ‘Cashback’ is introduced
  • 7 million transactions made in the first year

1997

Nationwide becomes the first UK provider to launch an internet banking service.

1999

  • Half of all UK adults hold a credit card
  • The average value of a credit card purchase exceeds £50 for the first time

2003

  • PayPal launched in UK
  • Chip and PIN introduced

2008

  • First UK contactless card issued
  • Currently there are about 23 million contactless cards in issue

2011

  • Phones used as debit cards
  • Barclays teams up with Orange to develop the ‘Quick Tap’ payment method, using near field communication (NFC) technology

2012

Barclays launches mobile app Pingit, enabling customers to send money using just a mobile number.

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