The credit card has been around for a good many decades at this point, and while it’s earned a reputation as “plastic money,” that plastic—or at least, the physical concept of the credit card—is actually quite old fashioned at this point. In a world where people can pay for things using their phone, or purchase things online from a store or other retailer they will never visit in real life, the idea of pulling out a plastic card with a series of numbers on it is no longer as cutting edge as it once was.
But that doesn’t mean the credit card that we carry in our wallets is done. In fact, for greater convenience and security, there are many ideas and concepts that are being tested and developed to make credit card payment processing a convenient system now and in the future.
One concept credit card companies are looking into is miniaturizing and lowering the cost of biometric ID systems like fingerprint readers. If a fingerprint reading window or panel can be built into the credit card itself, it would make PIN numbers a thing of the past and make it much more difficult for anyone other than the actual owner to legitimately use the card.
What if your credit card were like an incredibly small tablet? That’s another bit of technology that card manufacturers are experimenting with. By allowing a small screen or display to be built into the card itself, the credit card could add to its usefulness by being able to display recent transactions, or act as a currency converter, showing you how much a purchase would cost in your native currency when you’re shopping abroad.
Another interesting security feature card manufacturers are experimenting with is a card with “invisible numbers.” In this instance, the car appears blank, with no other visible details on it until the legitimate owner holds it. After reading for the correct fingerprint, the card activates itself, and allows numbers to appear, so that even if the card is stolen, the credit card number can’t be read.
The credit card is not going to go away anytime soon, but with these advances, credit card payment processing may yet hold onto the crown of popularity for many years to come.