How have changes in how we make purchases impacted society throughout time?

How have changes in how we make purchases impacted society throughout time?

The act of paying for goods is one that most of us engage in often. However, money exchange has altered significantly over history. The methods through which humans exchange value for products and services have changed dramatically over the course of history, from bartering at the start of written history to the usage of cryptocurrencies in the present day. Let’s examine the evolution of money transfers throughout time.

How have changes in how we make purchases impacted society throughout time?

How have changes in how we make purchases impacted society throughout time?

The use of bartering    

As far back as the Neolithic period (about 7000 BC), if not earlier, the barter system was in use. To put it simply, barter is the trading of one item or service for another. A farmer may trade a side of meat for a bag of potatoes.


In the middle of the fifth century B.C., in the area now known as Turkey, the first coins appeared in Asia Minor. Because of the difficulties associated with bartering, coinage quickly gained in popularity as a means of exchange. Also, under the barter system, there were several kinds of payment that would quickly spoil if stored. Coins minted from precious metals like gold and silver gradually gained favor as a consequence.

Paper money

The inconvenient nature of transporting large numbers of coins led to the development of paper money, often known as banknotes. The Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) in China is credited as being the first to employ banknotes. However, during the Song dynasty (960-1279), paper currency was established in Szechuan. After the Mongols produced Chinese-style banknotes in Iran in the 13th century, it became widely used throughout China and ultimately made its way to the West. According to historical accounts, the first European paper currency was produced in Sweden around the turn of the 17th century.

Drafts and bills of exchange 

In the 12th century, bills of trade were first used in Italy. A bill of exchange is a document that promises payment from a debtor to a creditor or other named payee. However, check writing was first employed in Europe in the 15th century and rapidly gained popularity throughout the 16th. In 1762, British banker Lawrence Childs developed the first check with printing. Despite the rise of debit and mobile payment systems, the usage of checks remains common in many nations. There are now more simple alternatives to ordering checks from your bank.


In 1914, Western Union introduced a credit card as a reward program for its most loyal clients. Customers who have one of these loyalty cards had access to interest-free financing. However, banks only started providing cards as a standard payment option in 1958. 

Electronic transactions

Online shopping has been popular since the advent of the web and the internet in the 1990s. This prompted the development of various methods of transacting money online, like high-risk merchant account. Peapod was an early online payment pioneer that let customers shop for food without leaving the comfort of their homes. Due to digital disruption, the number of available online payment methods has skyrocketed in the previous twenty years. These days, you may even use your smartphone or a digital watch to make a purchase.

If you want your business to keep up with the times, especially if you are in the e-commerce niche, you need to consider accepting payments from all over the world. How to do it? Payment aggregation from Akurateco can help with this!


In 2009, bitcoin became the first decentralized digital money. There were many naysayers all across the world who doubted the longevity of cryptocurrencies at the outset. However, nowadays, you may purchase, hold, and trade thousands of different cryptocurrencies. Popular corporations like PayPal, Microsoft, and Dell accept crypto payments, and more are expected to follow suit in the near future.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?