The credit card has been around for a pretty long while now and over the years has become an irreplaceable part of your daily financial needs. The way we use credit has also undergone changes, right from the trend of using debit cards instead of credit cards to the sudden rise of reward cards offered by numerous airlines, hotel chains and retails stores. Through the years, the features that make a credit card have also undergone changes.
The demise of embossed lettering on a credit card
In the next few years, the sight of those raised lettering bearing your name and your credit card number on the face of the card is going to be a thing of the past. Technological changes being adopted over the years has finally led to more efficient transaction methodologies paired with better security features.
Originally, the embossed lettering existed because the transaction devices used to take a physical imprint of the card. As of now, that particular method has been exchanged for the more efficient magnetic strip on the back of the card which is more efficient. The embossed lettering also used to serve as a security feature since an embossing machine was pretty expensive and hard to come by.
Compared to the currently employed security features of a credit card, these seem to be more than just obsolete. Visa and MasterCard are already offering customers flat credit cards without the usual embossed letters. Although it would take a few years to implement this change efficiently and uniformly but the credit cards of the future will be smooth to the touch.
Improved security features
Many security features were incorporated into the architecture of a credit card over the years, right from the embossed lettering to the signature panel on the backside and the sophisticated embedded holograms. AT the time they were incorporated, the were on the cutting edge but over the years they have fallen out of favor. The need to step up and improve security features is fueled in a large part by the increasingly sophisticated technology and equipment which are available to forgers these days.
Major credit card issuers are opting to retain the CVV (card verification value) number, the three digit code which you can find on the back of your card and is mainly used for card-not-present transactions. The other overhaul that card companies are pushing for is the implementation of the smart card technology wherein the card information would be stored on a chip embedded into the card instead of on the magnetic strip. Some issuers are even going the extra mile and have introduced the concept of embedding the security hologram right into the magnetic strip.
Smart cards are going to be the way of the future. Instead of having to swipe your credit card, you might just have to wave it at the transaction terminal to perform the desired function. The successful implementation of the technology would also entail functional as well as aesthetic design changes. There are a number of futuristic credit card designs making the rounds these days, right from cards with nothing but the issuer's logo on it to cards with buttons on them which let you shift between paying normally with credit or paying with accumulated reward points.
Non plastic cards made of anodized titanium or gold-palladium alloy is also being issued by big banks. These issuers are generally aiming at wrapping the new technology and security features with a very attractive, albeit expensive package which would be a pride and joy for its owner to carry around and whip out of his/her pocket.