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Monday, May 6, 2013

Innovator leaves behind payments legacy

Stanley A. Dashew, recognized as the inventor of the credit card, passed away in Los Angeles on April 25, 2013, at the age of 96. In 1950, the Harlem, N.Y., native founded Dashew Business Machines, which automated the nascent credit card industry by replacing paper "charge cards" with plastic cards. "Like the Dustin Hoffman character in the movie 'The Graduate,' it was revealed to me that the answer to all my problems – well, at least this one – was plastic," Dashew wrote in the Huffington Post.

The Los Angeles Times obituary of Dashew said the entrepreneur learned that a former colleague had developed a plastic material that could be embossed. With his team of engineers, Dashew built a computer with a keyboard that could emboss plastic cards with a customer's name, account number and expiration date.

Dashew's company also built what is likely the first "knucklebuster," which captured information off the embossed card and produced a customer receipt. Bank of America Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank and American Express Co.. then adapted the technology, the obituary said. Dashew's autobiography, You Can Do It: Inspiration and Lessons from an Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Sailor, was published in 2010. end of article

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