Infographic: The Way We Bank – Then And Now

a brief history of banking in infographic format
The Way We Bank

The way we bank has changed so much over our lifetime from paper checks to debit cards and now online banking and payments. Here’s an insightful look back over the history of banking and a peek into where it’s headed.  Embed this on your website!

The Way We Bank - Then And Now

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A Brief History Of The Way We Bank

Historical Timeline of Banks

  • 2000 BC – Banks began in the ancient world by providing grain loans to farmers and traders who carried goods between cities. 1
  • 100 BC – 400 AD – Banks start accepting deposits and changed money.
  • 1472 – Banca Monte dei Maschi de Sienan – the oldest bank still in existence – was founded in Siena, Italy.
  • 1832 – 1864 – Bank notes issued an dbacked by each individual bank. By 1860 more than 10,000 different banknotes circulated throughout the US. 2
  • 1850’s – Credit unions began in Germany with the same principals as today: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. 3
  • 1890’s – Credit unions spread to Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, the Netherlands and the Balkans. 1
  • 1909 – First US Credit Union opened in New Hampshire.
  • 1928 – 1933 – US Banking Crisis. In the last quarter of 1931 alone, more than 1,000 US banks failed, as borrowers defaulted and bank assets declined in value. This let to the enactment of Federal Deposit Insurance in June 1933. 4
  • 1990 – 2003 – As a result of deregulation in the 1990’s the number of US banks and thrifts fell from about 12,500 in 1994 to a little more than 9,000 at the end of 2003. 5
  • 2015 – Recent statistics indicate that the number of banks is 5,340 who 82,046 branches and 6,424 credit unions. 6


Number of checks processed daily:

  • 1995 – 62 million
  • 2005 – 48.7 million
  • 2015 – 21.7 million7


The number of electronic card payments tripled between 2000 and 2012.

Paper Currency

Number of notes in circulation:

  • 1995 – 17.3 billion with a value of $410.5 billion dollars
  • 2005 – 25.6 billion with a value of $758.8 billion dollars
  • 2015 – 38.1 billion with a value of $1.380 trillion dollars8

Percent of Cash Transactions

47% in US versus 6% in Scandinavia 9

The Move Away From Cash

Charge Cards

First issued in 1921by Western Union as paper identification for the first charge account. 10


Developed in 1928, the Charge-Plate was an early predecessor of the credit card. 10

Automatic Teller Machines

On September 2, 1969, Chemical Bank installed the first ATM in the US. 11

Credit Cards

In September 1958, Bank of America launched the BankAmericard inFresno, CA. 10

Telephone Banking

In 1980, Girobank establishes the first telephone banking system. 12

Debit Cards

Debit cards debuted around 1990, plastic cards replace cash. 13

The Rise of Online Banking

By the late 1980’s, personal computers enabled home banking. Advances the internet and online security brought online banking, mobile banking and the existence of banks without brick-and-morter locations. 14 People use Mobile Banking for

  • Paying bills – 64%
  • Online purchase – 54%
  • In-store purchases – 39%
  • Peer-to-peer transfers – 36%  14

Notable Advances in Banking:

  • Interactive Teller Machines
  • Peer-to-peer transfers
  • Peer-to peer loans
  • Payments with wearables

The Future of Banking

Interactive Teller Machines for:

  • self service
  • shorter lines
  • expanded hours
  • faster service

Other future trends in banking:

  • Video banking
  • Fewer banks and branches
  • More reward programs
  • Virtual currency



Published by

Jen M.

Jen has been with DCCU since she graduated from UW Madison - a long time ago. As the Content Strategist she helps share all the amazing things DCCU does in our community and spreads the credit union philosophy of People Helping People. When she's not working for the best credit union in south central Wisconsin, she's busy with 4 kids and a feisty little dog at home. She formed her family through adoption and has a deep passion to support foster and adoptive parents and kids. Her favorite place to relax is poolside or in front of the fireplace.