Mastercard’s Magnetic Stripes Soon to Become History

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The credit card company Mastercard announced that in the next 10 years it plans on eliminating magnetic stripes on its credit and debit cards, according to CNN Business. Magnetic stripes debuted in the 1960s and Mastercard will be the first company to say goodbye to this technology.

When the company first presented the magnetic stripes in the 1960s, they were a highly convenient method that allowed banks to store their clients’ information on a magnetic tape attached to the back of a plastic card. Nevertheless, with new and more secure card processing services allowing contactless payments or biometric identification, magnetic stripes are quickly becoming redundant.

But Mastercard is not writing history just yet. A complete farewell to the metallic stripes will only be said in 10 years according to the company. The newly issued cards will still have magnetic stripes on them. In 2024, they will become optional. Mastercard will stop issuing cards with magnetic stripes on them by 2029. Even then, the company plans on leaving some space until 2033 for its partners who still rely on magnetic stripes to embrace chip card processing, the company said in a statement.

Making Way for Safer Transactions

All types of credit cards, whether unsecured or secured, that have magnetic stripes on them are no longer as safe as they used to be and most cards now have chips embedded in them for further security. Cards with embedded chips will continue being used in the future, as they proved to be more secure due to their unique transaction code that makes it almost impossible to duplicate. It also prevents hackers from stealing credit data. According to Mastercard, 86% of face-to-face card transactions use the chip tech now. New technologies such as fingerprint identification and many others are on the rise for even greater security. Contactless payments have been growing since the beginning of the pandemic which can partly be attributed to people trying to limit the surfaces they touch.

What may pose a problem until people adjust to the new payment method is that the point of sale systems may work a bit slower than expected. People are accustomed to just sliding the card through the payment terminal and immediately putting it back in their wallets. But, on the other hand, the enhanced safety is worth it.

Howard Hammond, executive vice president and head of consumer banking at Fifth Third Bank, states: “The way we shop, pay, and interact is changing, and we are meeting these evolving needs with smarter and more secure experiences.”

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Reading and writing have always been my way to get a hold of the world, especially when it comes to news. When I'm not writing, reading books, traveling, and going on long walks with my dog are the things I do to recharge my batteries.

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