Based on reports in the New York Times, the credit as well as the debit cards in the U.S. will undergo some major changes and go with the flow of the digital age. While these cards have relied on the magnetic stripes for so long, it would now be embedded with chips, batteries as well as buttons. The age old magnetic stripe which was the technology that was relied on since the 70's would be done away with.
The change in data would take place at the press of a button. For instance, Citibank will be testing this new technology, wherein the customer gets to decide whether he/she wishes to shop with the reward points earned or using the credit facility, all this by the pressing of a button. This would enable the change in data on the card's magnetic stripe. While other card companies are trying out cards with other features such as the use of a single card for multiple accounts such as personal as well as corporate accounts, credit cards that could double up as debit cards, other fraud protection systems that are embedded into the card in order to prevent 'skimming' by fraudsters. This would decrease the fraudulent practices and misuse of the card in case it is lost or stolen.
Cards have gone a long way with the latest technologies being adapted by many countries. Europe has made advancements with regard to the technology that is used in its cards where it has a PIN and chip technology instead of the magnetic stripe. This offers double protection to its clients. The U.S. seems a little ambivalent to let go off the magnetic stripe technology, so that leaves the card companies with little choice but to update its current technology by adding on better and more efficient features to the current technology that is being used in the cards.
With huge advancements in technologies, the plastic money might soon be a thing of the past. The day is not too far away where the credit cards might become obsolete and cell phones might be used as wallets. The report also states that MasterCard, Visa, and Apple are some companies who are already developing this new technology. It is still in the initial stages of development, and huge sums of money have already been invested and these new advancements in technology have taken nearly a year to be developed. These will in all probability be put to use by the middle of 2011 the report said.