Ever wondered why all credit cards look the same?

Checking Credit Card

You’ve been using them for quite a while now and your friend, family and a lot of other people have been doing it as well. We’re talking about credit cards, some of the most common objects you can find in somebody’s wallet.

Even though we’re all carrying various amounts of debt on them, we do share one common thing: the size of the credit cards. Most likely, you have always ignored this aspect, because it’s something too basic to think of, but how many of you thought at this?

It all started 60 years ago

Credit cards are a modern way of making payments, but the idea behind them has been around since the 1900s, with the Bank of America being the first major financial institution to issue one, in 1958.

The first credit cards were designed following some specific standards, set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which sets standards for everything, including the size of a card.

According to Reader’s Digest, the ISO/IEX 7810:2003 outlines the dimensions of identification cards, according to a standard developed by both the ISO and IEC, which stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Specifically, credit cards, as well as debit cards and ATM cards fall under the ID-1 category. This requires them to be 85.6 mm x 53.98 mm or 3.375 in × 2.125 in. As for identification cards, no matter which category they belong to, they have to measure 0.76 mm in thickness.

Will technology affect the sizes?

On the other side, let’s not forget that credit cards have been constantly changing over the past few years, in terms of technology. It started with running a credit card through a roller, in order to get a copy of the numbers of the card, continued with the magnetic stripe and, finally, with inserting cards into chip readers. However, it was the sizes of the card which remained the same for the last 60 years.

We’re looking forward to seeing how technology will advance and affect the methods we’re making payments. Mobile phones are more and more often used for such operations, so we won’t be surprised if they become the world’s preferred payment method in a couple of years.

Credit Card signatures