Wallet fashion through the ages

Usually, the humble wallet is kept out of sight, only emerging when it comes time to swipe that handy credit card, or hand over a fist full of cash.

But that doesn’t mean your wallet can’t be fashionable. In fact, wallets have long been used to express individuality and a sense of style.

Come with us as we take a brief trip through time, back to the birthplace of the wallet, before returning to current day and moving on to the exciting future of credit card carrying convenience.

Wallets in the past

Did you know that the earliest wallets actually outdate paper currency? For thousands of years, people have been carrying leather pouches and sacks in which they would keep food and simplistic tools.

Primitive wallets first gained popularity as a means of carrying currency during the Renaissance, when metal coins became widely available. People would often tie little sacks to their belts and fill them with their shrapnel for easy access.

However, it was not until the 1600s that the wallet as we know it first began to emerge. This coincided with the arrival of banknotes, which began to gain prominence in the American colony of Massachusetts Bay.

While paper money had been in circulation in China since the 7th century, the Massachusetts Bay Colony played a major role in popularising the idea in the west. In order to carry around these banknotes, people began using simple wallets made from the leather of horses and cows.

Wallets in the present

A few centuries later, in the 1950s, credit cards became a household commodity. Soon after, the modern bi-fold wallet – which is the type you probably own now – became a must-have accessory, thanks to the addition of multiple slots for different cards.

Since then wallets have continuously evolved and transformed, going through a number of fashion trends along the way. Some we look back on fondly, while others we would probably rather forget – 80s-chic crocodile skin, anyone?

But that raises the question… what does the future hold for wallets? Where will our wallets go next? Will the Australians of tomorrow be carrying around shiny chrome plated credit card holders, or will they abandon the wallet entirely?

Wallets of the future

Technology is rapidly changing the way we look at our wallets, and in time, it’s likely that we will start to forego our little leather buddies. Instead, the trusty smartphone will become the wallet of the future.

Already, several technology and credit card companies have begun developing mobile wallets and payment methodology to streamline the payment process.

Visa Checkout allows users to have a single username and password to complete transactions on the web. With Visa Checkout, you can store major debit and credit card details (including Visa, Mastercard or American Express cards) and your delivery address in the one Visa Checkout account. 

You can use Visa Checkout to make payments on any participating website, and you won’t have to re-enter your checkout information.

To find out more or sign-up go to Visa Checkout.

Sure, it makes it easier to pay, but does it mean future wallet fashion is destined only for the small screen?

What do you think about wallet fashion? Have you ever owned a particularly garish wallet? Or do you consider yourself a bit of a wallet fashionista?