Sarasota resident inventor of modern-day credit card

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – There are some people in the Tampa Bay area who came up with ideas that revolutionized our lives and made things much easier.

More than 50 years ago, a Sarasota resident changed how we use credit cards forever.

Ron Klein created the magnetic strip on the backs of cards and the electronic system to go along with it.

Before his invention, the numbers were checked manually.

“Right around that time, reel to reel tape recorders came out. I said, ‘I know how that works.’ If i could take a little piece of that tape, record the account number on it and build a little device that mimics the tape recorder, a reader, paste that little tape on the back of the credit card and make you the motor,” Klein said.

With that, the modern-day credit card was born.

Klein is known as the “grandfather of possibilities” and also developed computerized systems for real estate multiple listing services or MLS, the telephone voice response system for the banking industry and the bond quotation and trade information system for the New York Stock Exchange.

And he’s not done.

“I’m still not empty. I’m still developing now,” Klein said.

Wayne Rasanen is with the Tampa Bay Investors Council. He said hitting it big is matter of need and necessity is the mother of invention.

“A lot of inventors are trying to do something creative that can help other people,” he said.

Rasanen is doing that with DecaTxt, a small keyboard-type device he developed that would replace the 150 year old “qwerty” style keyboard.

“You need to come up with the next big thing, before the market sees it as the next big thing.”

And once you do, it doesn’t stop there, like Ron Klein.

His new project is an app he hopes will revolutionize life for the visually impaired

He offers advice to all budding inventors.

“You have to be smart, daring and different. Smart to me means, not a PhD, but being aware and paying attention, learning something new everyday, and then being daring, not being afraid to make a mistake.”

Follow Rod Carter on Facebook


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