Payments have always been at the core of human interaction, and throughout history, humanity has continuously worked towards developing new methods to refine the process. From the use of heavy stone rolls to seashells and, ultimately, the paper iteration of currency, the history of transaction conduct is fascinating. Perhaps one of the greatest innovations of the past century has been that of bank cards.
The first-ever bank card was issued in 1951 by Long Island Bank during rapid development within the financial sector. The standardized bank card, now so familiar to everyone, was first minted by Bank of America in the early 1960s and has become a staple of financial transactions.
Banking Never Stands Still
Traditional bank cards have always evolved toward convenience: allowing holders to use numerous varieties of currencies tethered to the account. However, in an international economy that includes a reserve currency (the US Dollar being the most popular), this feature is not just convenient but practically seen as essential. Similarly, card features that may have been added as “bells and whistles” incentives (such as special rewards and conversion rates) are now also seen as the norm by consumers. With the amount of choice out there, the industry has been continuously forced to evolve and adapt to its users' growing and changing needs, versatility being a feature most in demand.
Forms of money underwent a true revolution in early 2013, when blockchain technologies allowed the advent of digital currency. Bitcoin was born as the first in what would become a long legacy of digital forms of cash. The ensuing years have seen the development of a wide range of digital currencies, including utility tokens, stablecoins, coins, NFTs, and many other cryptocurrencies. Many of these cryptocurrencies allow their holders to conduct transactions that represent a real transfer and exchange of value.
Global Crypto Adoption
Currently, cryptocurrencies can be accepted as legal forms of money in almost 20,000 retail outlets and by some leading global brands, such as Tesla, Burger King, Nvidia, Microsoft, and others. While this is a significant amount of retailers, the truth is that the majority of merchants still require fiat. The rapid adoption of blockchain technology combined with the desire of consumers to use their newfound cryptocurrencies as a means of payment have ushered in yet another evolution for bank cards. As previously noted, versatility is primary for any bank card that calls itself a modern payment gateway. The most critical update then will allow consumers to spend a cryptocurrency as easily as if it were fiat. It includes the ability to automatically convert cryptocurrency to fiat currencies so that they can then be cashed out at ATMs, or simply used to pay for everyday goods and services at retail outlets.
Catering to Special Needs
Embily’s global payment network seamlessly integrates into the crypto-economy without becoming isolated from the traditional financial infrastructures that everyone is familiar with. One of the ways it has filled this niche is by issuing fully secure, VISA-based cards that are tailored for the automatic conversion of digital assets into Euros. Embily’s crypto-friendly VISA card also comes with its own set of “bells and whistles'' features, including giving clients the ability to cash out cryptocurrencies at ATMs with zero commissions in addition to expanded services for businesses, such as over-the-counter operations for bulk purchases.
Cryptocurrencies have ushered in a revolution in the modern financial industry, giving people worldwide access to a trustless, fully transparent, and reliable fast transaction processing infrastructure. Bank cards such as Embily’s are also undergoing a revolution in parallel to meet clients' needs, demanding the same level of versatility and convenience they’ve grown used to.
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