Credit cards can be a very useful tool if used correctly but they can often be your financial downfall if used incorrectly. Many people, over the years, have had to learn this lesson the hard way. The ease of swiping a card instead of carrying cash all the time makes life easier but sometimes it is so easy that we don’t really stop to think about the purchase entirely. As technology changes, we adapt to it and now the idea of carrying a checkbook or cash might seem like a burden. As time moves on, is there something else on the horizon that may eventually make us look back and think the credit card was inconvenient?
Other options that might become more popular in the future include cards that can be read without swiping them. RFID(radio frequency identification) enabled credit cards use a microchip instead of a magnetic strip to store the user’s information. The microchip can be read by machines several feet away and there is no need to swipe. Their storage capacity is around 100 times more than a regular credit card. Some of the concerns about RFID cards is that they can be read by unauthorized devices. NFC (near field communication) enabled cards can transmit information when they are a few inches away from a reader. The NFC is thought to be more secure than the RFID cards because of the shorter range that they can read within. There is expected to be a $4 billion business for these contactless cards by the year of 2020. Another up and coming option is using your cellphone in order to make payments. Some cellphones are enabled with the same type of NFC technology as mentioned above. Check out some of the other fun facts regarding the future of credit cards below:
- Currently there are 35 million RFID cards in the United States.
- 35 million NFC enabled phones were sold in 2011
- 2.5 million NFC terminals were shipped in 2011
- It is expected that 20% of phones will be equipped with NFC by 2014, around 300 million
- The number of active credit and debit accounts globally is 1.3 billion
- The estimated size of mobile payment transaction by 2015 is $670 billion
- The market for NFC chips is expected to rise 135% between 2011 and 2015