Money, Credit, and Digital Payment 1971/2014: From the Credit Card to Apple Pay

NFC terminal with iPhone 6, video still, 2014The article intertwines the history of the American credit card, its standardization, and interactional realization with the latest developments in payment systems. Understanding both credit cards and systems like Apple Pay or blockchain-based applications as part of an administrative longue durée, it argues for a different understanding of the Internet of Things. It should be understood both as a technical-informational and as an accounting infrastructure, with tensions arising between both segments.

Check out the full text, published in Administration and Society’s special issue on ICT@Administration at https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399718794169.

Credit Card Mobilities

The Swiss Federal Archives have been publishing a video documentation of their „ICT@Admin“ conference. I had the privilege of being a part of this, so I include the video and abstract of my talk here. A complete documentation is also online, and the overall YouTube playlist is highly recommended.

CREDIT CARD MOBILITIES (Sebastian Gießmann, Siegen, March 26 2015)

The talk sketches out a praxeological history of the credit card, with an emphasis on its mediating qualities and operational status within bureaucratical frameworks. Temporal borrowing via credit card is regarded as a highly dynamic social technology that produces emergent topologies through distributed mobile payments. The formative years of the American credit card (1950-1975) are analyzed along with approaches from ethnomethodology (Harold Garfinkel) and actor network theory (Michel Callon). Cooperative media practices are key to understanding the relation between the administrative handling of „accounts“ and emerging social networks. This includes (1) Dining, traveling, and charging, (2) Accounting for trust and credit, (3) Mass mailing and advertising new ways of payment, (4) Building „co-opetitive“ platforms for networks and (5), the digital momentum of credit cards as immutable mobiles.