But the predecessor to today’s credit cards arose by chance in 1949 in the USA. A businessman couldn’t pay for his working lunch because he had forgotten his wallet at home. But the pub agreed to send him a bill, with his visiting card as the only means of security. This was the beginning of Diner’s Club, which two years later had gained 20 000 members. The first “plastic” cards weren’t made out of plastic, but out of paper.