The Alliance Credit was established in 109PA, as a joint venture between then Regency of Wa-Daisho, the Kingdom of Desert Star, and the Empire of Kyatashiro.
The goal of this endeavor was to produce a form of currency not subject to the critical and malicious eye of the Coalition States. For success, this currency would have to be able to be utilized both within the cities of the three aforementioned powers, but in rural areas as well. A sound medium for value would also have to be established.
To accomplish this a currency was developed based upon the value of gold, which is presently standing at about 1,000 credits per ounce. Each credit, therefore, would be worth 1/1000 of an ounce of gold. In addition to this measure, both a high tech electronic banking system was put into place within each of the Allied Nations, AND a form of hard currency was also developed.
Coins, which come in .25, .5, and 1 credit denominations, are crafted of molded and glazed ceramic that is quite durable. Raised surfaces indicate value, date of mint, location of mint, and various symbols of the Alliance.
Notes, which come in 5, 10, 50, and 100 credit denominations, are produced out of a fire retardant form of plastic, similar to the pre-cataclysm Australian 'Plastic Back'. Each note is coded and includes a watermark from the minting nation. A clear area dominates the center of each note with a symbol indicating value, and the symbols of the Alliance. These are visible on both sides of the note. In later years, as new nations have subscribed to the Alliance Credit, the credit notes began to carry the names of these subscribing nations, in addition to the names of the three founding nations. These notes are extremely hard to counterfeit thanks to the unique design, which includes a foil bar code. Whenever notes arrive at a bank, they are put into a counting machine that divides them into the various denominations, and scans them into the database. Whenever money is to be issued, it is similarly counted out, and scanned indicating that it was transferred to this person or that. Whenever a person turns money into the bank, these serial numbers are compared to existing records. IF a serial appears both in the archive of one bank or another, AND appears at the point of deposit/credit for gold trade, then it is determined to be a fraudulent transaction and an investigation is begun. Furthermore the various nations that mint this currency, at random, skip serial numbers! Thus if any of these recorded numbers that have been skipped appear in transactions, once again an investigation begins.
The cards vary slightly from nation to nation, including the water mark, the font type, etc. What they all have in common, however, is that they are a form of citizen ID, complete with a picture, rough description, and include a read out of what funds are available in their account. This last attribute is accomplished via a small chip connected to a series of seven chemical electric sensitive panels that will change with each reading or transaction made by a credit card machine. Within the nation where the card was issued, falsifying this data is next to impossible, without first hacking the banking system itself. That in and of itself is very difficult, as it is well protected, and records are routinely checked at the end of a work day to make certain there are no discrepancies between the data. Hacking the system would be messy - and this would show up quite quickly even under a cursory inspection.
Taking the card to another nation that subscribes to the Allied Credit will allow the individual to use these credits even in this other nation, though no established wire lines link the distant allies that use this form of currency. Unfortunately this is where falsified data can and occasionally does become a problem. Couriers bring data disks from nation to nation carrying the encrypted updated data, biweekly. This encrypted data, even if intercepted, is of little use without first having access to the banking information this encrypted data is plugged into. If an individual from one of the other subscribing nations enters a new subscribing nation, theoretically he/she has 2 weeks from the date the last courier visited, to spend their falsified credits - and then beat a hasty departure from that nation before the discrepancies become known. (This is typically reacted to by issuing a bounty upon the head of the individual who committed this fraudulent act.)
Another scam infrequently attempted is the fraudulent credits for gold scam. This is when an individual from another Allied Nation travels to another nation that subscribes to the Allied Credit, alters the credits listed on their card, and then attempts to trade this in for gold - before beating a hasty retreat for someplace far from the Allied Nations. This was accomplished twice, both times in Desert Star, before safety measures were put in place to prevent this. Now there is a 3 week waiting period to trade credits for gold in all of the nations that subscribe to the Alliance Credit. This allows sufficient time for the courier to arrive with updated data. IF this data does not arrive in time, then the payment is delayed for a further two weeks, and so on until this data is sufficiently updated. With this waiting period in place, it is virtually impossible to acquire gold for fraudulent credits.
A credit card maxes out at 250,000 credits. No more than this amount can be placed on any single Alliance credit card. Subsequent credit cards CAN be issued, however, with an alphabetical serial added to the end of the account number. (If more than 6.5 mil is necessary for a transaction, hard currency may be used, OR the bank itself is used for the appropriate transfer of funds.) Cards of this type may be used in the nation of their origins at any time, without limitation. Using them in another nation, however, requires a three week waiting period for the additional cards to be verified as being legitimate.
The Allied Credit is growing in popularity. While initially only used by the three founding nations, Lazlo adopted it in 112PA, Kingsdale did the same in 115PA, and Tolkeen chose the Allied Credit as it's primary currency in 117PA. Many small towns throughout western North America also use the hard currency version of Alliance Credits exclusively, the largest of which are the modern Native American settlement of Water Point Preserve and New Hope on the old Californian coastline.Converting Another Type of Credit to Allied Credits & Visa Versa
The Alliance Bank will only issue Alliance Credits in exchange for one commodity - Gold. Thus if a character who previously used Universal or NGMI Credits wanted to turn their credits into Alliance Credits, they would have to use their credits to purchase gold, and THEN convert that into Alliance Credits. Finding any quantity of gold to purchase to exchange for NGMI or Universal Credits though may be a difficult matter.
Converting Alliance Credits over to another form of credit is another vexing issue entirely. The Alliance Bank WILL trade gold for Alliance Credits, once the amount is verified, usually requiring a three week waiting period. This is issued in the form of small dime sized 1/10 ounce gold coins or for large quantities - gold bullion. While the coins have the weight and the minting nation stamped into them, the gold bullion is stamped with the precise weight, issued it's own code and serial number, mint date and time. Getting someone to pay the 1,000 credits an ounce for the gold is a bit more of a simple matter than finding someone to buy gold from.