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Paying With Plastic by David Evans


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I'm trying to understand the economics of the credit card industry a little better, so as part of my deep dive I picked up this little gem.  I'm not finished yet, but it's been very informative so far.  It's like a history textbook and a business textbook had a baby.  It starts with the history of charge cards and their relationship to merchants and goes through changes in the industry and lawsuits leading up to what we have today. Sometimes a few minutes of history is very helpful in understanding how we got to where we are today (why do we have mastercard and visa if most banks offer both and merchants take either?).  Although the version I have ends in the 1990s there is a 2nd edition that ends in 2005, I believe.


I don't think you'll get any great life-altering insights from the book, but if you are looking at investing a credit card company like I am (or banks that have exposure to consumer credit) it's worth keeping a copy of this on your nightstand and reading a few pages everyday before bed. 

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