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Old 05-09-2016, 12:21 PM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,122
As Muffin mentioned, the Knights Templar played a role. They are largely credited with creating the early version of our modern banking system. Think of it as the first ATM system. They are also believed by many to be the founders of Freemasonry (there's too much in the story to post, but you have google).

Essentially, pilgrims and crusaders going to the Holy Land were under constant attack - often robbed and/or slaughtered. So, to minimize risk, you could stop in at the Templar spot in France (for example) and give them your money and receive a statement of credit. As you moved along the pilgrimage/crusade trail, you could withdraw money be visiting other Templar locations and giving them your chit. Another would be drafted to reflect your standing balance (with an "ATM fee" associated). The Templars amassed such a vast fortune in currency and land that practically all of the potentates in Europe (including the Vatican) were in their debt, so they were same Church that created them excommunicated them and allowed Phillip the Fair of France to launch an inquisition against them.

An interesting source by a vetted historian is "Born in Blood."