Jan 02, 2020

Video Resources: Brief History of Credit Cards, Will Power and Kids in a Cashless Society

Interesting videos that you may find useful to supplement your lessons. 

Video: A Brief History of Credit Cards (or, What Actually Happens When You Swipe)

Description: "What actually happens when you swipe your credit card? a16z general partner Alex Rampell helps solve the mystery, taking us from the beginning of the credit card revolution (including its hometown of Fresno, California) and on the journey of how both information and money travel… through the five parties involved in every credit card transaction."


  • What is the difference between charge cards and credit cards?
  • Describe the early experiments that Bank of America did with the BankAmerica Card.  Was it a success or failure?
  • Map out the five parties involved in a credit card transaction. 
    • Who carries the risk that consumers won't pay their credit card bills? 
    • What role does Visa and Mastercard play in the process? 
    • Who approves/rejects a given credit card transaction? 
  • Is VISA a credit card company? Explain? 


Hat tip to Abby for sharing this behavioral finance video about habit formation.  A two minute snippet from 3:38-5:30 in video below provides some interesting findings on will power.  


  • What have researchers learned about will power? Learnable skill?
  • What did the researchers experiment with radishes and cookies reveal about will power? 
  • What about the 4 month experiment with the money management program? What did it reveal about will power? 


Cashless Kids (starts at 43:00 and goes until 50:10 in video below) - PBS NewsHour


  • What do you think the impact of a cashless society is impacting your generation?
  • How much cash do you carry around most days? 
  • Do you use cash more or less than 1 in 3 of your transactions that are true nationally?
  • Do you think you will responsible with credit cards? Why or why not? 
  • Have you ever made any in-game purchases while playing popular online games? 


Check out NGPF's Video Library for more engaging, short form videos sorted by topic and curated from dozens of different sources including PBS NewsHour, TED Talks and Consumer Reports. 


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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