NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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The Future Shape of Credit Cards

The Future Shape of Credit Cards

At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Royal Bank of Canada has launched a new shape and type of credit card that might be the future for many credit card holders.  The RBC Bank is offering a pre-paid card shaped like the easily recognizable Coca-Cola bottle and equipped for contactless payments for Olympic athletes, coaches and team officials.

Over the next few decades, your credit card will likely have a different shape also.   The first, and most likely change, is that your cell phone might be your credit card.  Your cell phone plan and credit card account will become one and the same.  When you use the Internet access app of your cell phone to view the offerings on web sites, one click of a cell phone button and you will both place an order and charge the item to your combo account.

The next most likely change in credit cards involves microchips with your personal and financial information embedded in the chip.  Instead of swiping a plastic credit card, a scanner will read the chip which might be part of your car keys and automatically charge your account – all without stopping at a check-out or you providing your signature.

Some futurists believe we will become the credit card.  Video recognition equipment in stores will know us and our account information.  Simply walking out of the store with our selected items in hand will trigger a charge to our account or at the most a quick stop at a touch pad to leave a fingerprint.

Do any of those changes sound easier and quicker than your present use of plastic?   That is one of the goals of credit card companies, but ease in reaching you is also a goal.  If you can use your cell phone to charge items, would you also be receptive to businesses calling your cell phone to alert you of special sales?  If the store video equipment recognizes you when you walk in the door, do you also want their audio feature to announcement that items you purchased on your last visit are now on clearance in aisle four? –

Whatever shape your credit card has in the future, let’s remind the credit card companies, that consumer want both ease of use and security.



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