Diners Club became the first credit card company in 1950, when it issued a card allowing members to charge meals at 27 New York City restaurants. In 1958, Bank of America issued the BankAmericard (now Visa), the first bank credit card. In 1965, only 5 million cards were in circulation; by 1996, U.S. consumers had nearly 1.4 billion cards, which they used to charge $991 billion in goods annually.
The growth of credit cards has had an enormous impact on the economy—changing buying habits by making it much easier for consumers to finance purchases and by lowering savings rates (because consumers do not need to save money for larger purchases). Oil companies, car makers, and retailers have also used the cards to market their goods and services, using credit as a way of encouraging consumers to buy. Concern has been voiced over widespread distribution of bank credit cards to consumers who may not be able to pay their bills; costly losses and theft of cards; inaccurate (and damaging) credit records; high interest rates on unpaid balances; and excessive encouragement of consumer debt that has cut savings in the United States.
Technology advances have facilitated the use of credit cards. Merchants are now connected to banks by modem, so purchases are approved rapidly; on-line shopping on the Internet is possible with credit card payment. Credit card companies are also experimenting with smart cards that would act like a small computer, storing account and other information necessary for its use. An alternative to credit cards is the debit card, which is used to deduct the price of goods and service directly from customers' bank balances.
Quiet Girl With A Credit Card is the debut album from Australian singer-songwriter Lisa Miller. It was released in Australia in 1996 on the W.Minc label and licensed for release in Europe by Demon Records. Produced by Graham Lee (ex-The Triffids) who had previously played pedal steel guitar in Lisa's roots-rock band Truckasaurus.
The album features Lisa's own compositions, plus two songs by Melbourne friends (one each from Dave Graney and Conway Savage), and two US classics: Bob Dylan's "You're A Big Girl Now" and Dan Penn's "Woman Left Lonely" (previously recorded by both Charlie Rich and Janis Joplin).
All compositions by Lisa Miller except were noted.