While plastic credit cards have been relied on by shoppers for decades, that may be changing in the near future. In light of identity theft and other similar issues, the concept of contactless mobile cards is beginning to gain steam.
In fact, Visa, one of the leading credit card companies, is already getting behind this idea. In the UK, Canada and the European Union, it is already being used in place of physical cards. Though the idea in the US is for mobile users to make easier and more secure purchases, other countries are incorporating it as a payment method into their brick-and-mortar stores.
The idea of contactless mobile cards is they allow consumers to pay for merchandise without putting their financial information at risk. Any contactless card works due to a combination of EVM chips, an RFID that works like an old-fashioned TV antenna, as well as the chip in the card itself. Because of this technology, these cards are being considered a viable alternative to traditional credit cards, if and when the US is ready to fully embrace them.
As of now, most credit cards issued in the United States lack the necessary RFID technology. However, American Express has been a trailblazer in this advancement, having already revealed their contactless card. Though they are mainly used by businesses, there is a push for consumers to begin relying on them for personal purchases as well.
Since 2011, there has been a push for these cards to become the standard among everyday people. However, issues with the idea held it back initially. In the beginning, RFID cards were being pursued as a way to avoid the data compromises that so many retailers have experienced in recent years. At that time, merchant services were not happy with the idea of this new card type. They weren’t willing to complete the activation needed to accept the cards, slowing the process of U.S. consumers adopting contactless cards
Many retailers that have been opposed to these cards have argued that there were issues with payment processing when the interchange fees encountered when using them were to unappealing.
Only time will tell if the United States chooses to switch to these cards, as the UK and other countries already successfully have.