Battery powered credit cards may be the next big innovation in credit card technology, if Dynamics, Inc. has their way. MasterCard has just approved them to begin production of battery-operated credit cards, which let users push a button to make a purchase.
If you thought that contactless payments, EMV chips, and virtual wallets were the latest innovations in credit card payments, think again. Battery-powered credit cards may be the next big thing – or will they be the next big joke?
MasterCard doesn’t think so; they just certified Dynamics, Inc. to produce MasterCard-branded credit cards at their production facility in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.
Charge Up Your Charge Card
You may wonder what a battery-operated credit card looks like and why you’d need one – a fair enough question. Dynamics Inc. makes the cards, which have buttons on the front that customers push to make a purchase or redeem rewards. There are two buttons – pressing either one will activate the card, and a light will turn on, asking the customer to confirm their choice. The user then swipes the card as usual.
In fact, you don’t need to charge the battery on the card – one charge lasts more than three years, according to the company. The cards look like any other cards, and the only thing different about them is the technology inside. They contain a thin computing device that programs the magnetic stripe on the back of the card, and therefore can change the information transmitted with a swipe.
First Citi 2G, Now MasterCard
Last October, the Citi 2G card debuted in a limited launch – the first card to use Dynamics, Inc. technology, which according to CEO Jeff Mullen will “change the world forever without changing the way the world works.” Mullen’s company developed the ePlate, the device that powers these cards and contains the push-button technology.
“The ePlate device gives the user the ability to personalize their payment experience in a way never before envisioned while earning exclusive content across the world’s first developer ecosystem for payments,” says Mullen.
Now MasterCard is on board, saying that working with Dynamics will“give consumers access to new payment technologies that can be tailored to meet their needs, so they can pay when, how and where they want.” That’s Mario Shiliashki, a senior vice president at MasterCard’s Emerging Payments division. According to Shilashki, “MasterCard continues to be the network leader of payments innovation by enabling new products for the benefit of our issuers, merchants, and end consumers.”
Mullen stated in a press release that “MasterCard certification of Dynamics’ proprietary personalization process is a significant milestone for Dynamics. The certification enables us to introduce innovative payment technologies to consumers that can provide added payment services and enhanced security.”
What about EMV?
Some might find it curious that credit card issuers are choosing to embrace this new battery technology when they have lagged so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to EMV chip technology, which is also an enhanced security technology.
EMV cards contain a chip which replaces the magnetic stripe on a credit card – though most EMV cards still have both a stripe and a chip, allowing them to function at payment stations that can’t accept the chip-and-PIN technology. Instead of swiping and signing, EMV card holders simply wave their cards under the card reader and enter a PIN.
Dynamics, Inc. does make cards with their own spin on EMV technology – they call their version the Chip and Choice and introduced it last fall.
So Many Innovations, So Little Time
With virtual wallets gaining in popularity and contactless payment technology advancing, physical credit cards could get phased out before all these new innovations can take hold in the marketplace. It’s always fun to have a new toy to play with, though, and pushing buttons and flashing lights are always fun – for kids, anyway. When you’ve uploaded all your credit cards to Google Wallet or Isis, these new battery-powered cards can probably be passed on to your toddler – if he doesn’t already have his own iPad.
Image Source: www.dynamicsinc.com