Saturday, February 18, 2006

Half a Century Old -- Almost!

Visa, Credit Cards,
Mickey Mouse

I recall that many people were shocked when they learned their favorite cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, was 50 years old. That was in 1978.

That didn't bother me much since Mickey had been around before I was born, but now I've been given a jolt by realizing that another icon from my life is nearing it's 50th anniversary.

The icon I'm referring to is the VISA CARD which I've been using almost since it's beginnings, except that when I was first introduced to it I knew it as CHARGEX.

The event that brought this fact to my realization happened just a few days ago. I had parked on a public street in Pucon, Chile and had to pay for my parking fee when I discovered I had no change and the parking attendant only received CASH.

That I didn't have cash wasn't unusual, for many years I have formed a habit of having little or no cash, using a credit card for virtually all my needs. This habit was developed through acquiring a Visa Card which paid me a percentage of every transaction which I made and the fact that most everything I used to use cash for was available through using a credit card.

Well, that habit has continued even as I wander around in places like Chile where almost everything can be purchased using a credit card, but this one event started me thinking ....

Here I am, using a payment system almost all of my adult life -- nearly 50 years -- and yet today in places like Chile (and I'm sure many other countries) there are adults who have never had a credit card. In fact, I know many people in this country that don't even have a bank account!

What's the point? Simply this: there are many areas of our lives that we take for granted and consider totally normal, but if we were to step back and look around us we might be surprisedd to learn that what is sooooo normal for us, is not necessarily normal for others.

1 comment:

fooDcrazEE said...


Even in Malaysia, ppl are not taught the proper way to use credit card. The bank just advertise and we found that many are actually over spending using CC. My own credit card is only for auto debit for all my bills and for emergency uses only. I prefer to pay by cash for a lot of transaction below RM100.00 ( dats only USD30+ USD1 = RM3.70)