2400/2500 - Visa and Amex go the way of the pine tree

S01E06 - A Fishful of Dollars
"Sorry, we don't take Discover" - Some Asshole at the Mall

This episode depicts Fry desperately trying to scrounge together enough money for underwear. It's a painfully relevant parallel to the plight of today's working class when combined with the previous scene's depiction of the dream-based advertising. It looks like the creeping extremes in marketing tactics aren't going anywhere in the future, sending the whole cast of the show to the mall, frothing at the mouth for high-quality items they can't afford. Banksy-esque pictures of corporate future America aside, Fry tries in vain to spend money he doesn't have by offering the vendor a selection of credit cards, only to discover that Visa and American Express have been extinct for five and six hundred years respectively.

Accuracy: TBD

All things considered, this is a fairly benign prophecy by Mr. Groening. Corporations grow, gain power, exploit it, grow stagnant, and fall to the march of time and power-hungry startups all the time. These are the gears of Capitalistic society, and Futurama has no intentions of telling us that these basic patterns are doomed to cease any time soon. Both credit cards have been around since the 1950's (though the twisted and incestuous history of the companies extends far earlier, as is often the case), so half a century isn't a bad run. High fives and celebratory cakes all around lads. What's more impressive is the companies that will manage to adapt and say fit enough to survive into the new new millennium.

Discover Card, a much smaller player a the time of writing, will apparently still be around, though not accepted at whatever hoity-toity mall Fry and gang were visiting in this episode. It's also worth noting that later in the episode, Fry turns to "Big Apple Bank", his old bank from the 20th Century, and withdraws a hilariously enormous sum of money that's been benefiting from a thousand years of interest and inflation. New Yorkers of today will notice of course, that Big Apple Bank isn't a thing that exists, and the show must have been making a play on the New York based Apple Bank. Unless, of course, that's just what Mr. Groening want us to think, and the truth is that Apple, the Silicon Valley tech giant, will one day dominate our bank accounts as well as ever other damn thing in our digital lives. A chilling thought for the anti-monopolistic of us. I'm probably reaching here, though; the obvious truth is that Mr. Groening is just a simple financial and economic mastermind, and we should all be investing heavily in Discover and Apple Bank if we don't want to be rendered too poor for the highly fashionable undergarments of the future.