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BRAND NEWS: American Express celebrates 50 years

American Express launched its credit card service in Britain 50 years ago today.

The service enabled its card holders to use credit cards at nearly 3000 establishments at home and 83000 abroad.

There are currently 56.4 million credit cards in the UK, with 61 per cent of the UK adult population owning one or more. In 2012 credit card holders made on average 68 purchases. 

Carin Van Vuuren, CMO for Usablenet, the global leader in mobile and multichannel technology commented on the news: “Credit cards changed the world by ‘electronifiying’ money, completely revolutionising the way we not only think about spending but how we actually do it.

“The next big payments transformation in the retail industry is already underway – a virtual lease of life in the form of mobile wallets and proximity payments. The growth of payment solutions such as Wallets (Google, Mastercard), NFC (S-Beam) and potentially Apple Passbook provide yet further shortcuts for customers looking to speed through check-out as quickly as possible. With mobile, plastic will become plastic-less, as such.”