This billion-dollar industry had an embarrassing beginning. Learn how a missing wallet changed the world. The story of Diner’s Club – the word’s first credit card.
What they do:
Invented the modern day credit card.
Frank McNamara was having dinner at one of his favorite Manhattan restaurants. When the bill came, his wallet was nowhere to be found. He’d left it in his other suit. His wife was able to cover for him, but McNamara vowed never to be caught without cash again. So he invented the credit card.
About the business:
The Diners’ Club Card was the world’s first multi-purpose charge card. Until then, charge cards had only been issued by department stores and hotel chains for exclusive use at their establishments. Two years after founding Diners’ Club, McNamara was bought out by department store heir Alfred Bloomingdale. Within 7 years, American Express and Bank of America were on board with their own credit cards. The world of commerce would never be the same.