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On 29th June 1966, the first one million Barclaycards were issued by Barclays Bank to selected customers. Barclaycard had the market to themselves for six years, as it wasn't until 1972 that Access (remember `your flexible friend`) was launched by Lloyds, NatWest and Midland. Barclaycard was not the first plastic card in Britain, far less the rest of the world. In the 1920s and 1930s, the forerunners of credit cards (so-called â€˜metal moneyâ€™) were launched in the United States to allow travellers to pay for gasoline, rail and air travel. The real breakthrough, however, came in 1950, when the Diners Club card was launched as a convenient way to pay for meals. Read more