A: The Knights Templar. By the 12th century, these sword-wielding “warrior monks” stopped merely protecting pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land and started also looking after their stuff. European travelers could deposit their valuables at a Templar house and would receive a letter of credit in return. They could flash this letter to Templars in other countries to retrieve money from their account. The Knights charged fees and penalties, funds that would help finance the Crusades. When secular banks caught wind of their tactics, they started charging fees, too.