Starting by the mid-1960s, the underworld in general, and the New York/New Jersey mafia in particular, started realizing the tremendous money-making potential in the newly invented and quickly developing business model of credit cards. The idea of now being able to purchase goods and services on “credit” by simply presenting a rectangular plastic “credit card” was revolutionary.
A consumer could now buy goods by simply providing his card to a given merchant and then signing his name to the authorization slip for the purchase even if at that very minute of the purchase, he didn’t have the money in his pocket or in his bank account to actually pay for the goods he was buying. Depending upon the strength of his credit “profile,” the consumer was given a “line of credit,” ready and available whenever he needed it.
This new way of doing things took the business world by storm and became an entirely new way for the world of financial commerce to conduct business transactions with the public.