Ready for a look into the future? If you’re looking to see what a credit card might look like, say, ten years from now, prepare yourself. These future financial products will soon look like the face of your smartphone or even an ATM. While it’s true more companies are currently looking towards mobile payments while eliminating those plastic marvels known as credit cards in their entirety, you shouldn’t be so quick to write them off. In fact, they will eventually make today’s credit cards look more like that Burger King membership card you got as a kid: dated and really serving no purpose.
In other words, the magnetic strips and smart chip technology are going nowhere.
Our heads are still spinning on news of Russia’s Sberbank diamond studded Visa that’s made out of pure gold. Of course, there will only be 100 of those spectacularly extravagant credit cards issued, but still – that’s quite uncomfortable to even think about carrying around. This gold Visa card is embedded with 26 diamonds and weighs 0.17 carats. This gem is being produced in Russia, but it can’t be used in the way you currently use your more practical plastic Visa: it has no magnetic stripe. What you can use it for, however, is for the newer chip transactions that require PIN numbers. And, too, it’s being referred to as a “companion card to the standard plastic Visa Infinite credit card”.
But don’t hold your breath on getting your hands on one of these credit cards. First, as mentioned, there are only one hundred being made and issued. And speaking of issue, you don’t apply for it – you are awarded it by the bank. But with that award comes a hefty price tag of $100,000. If you’re invited to own one of these gold blocks, you’ll need to shell out $65,000 for the card itself and the remaining $35,000 is your credit line. It’s not clear if your credit line increases after you pay the $65,000. Owners also receive complimentary life and health insurance (and really, won’t you need it if you’re carrying this card?) to the tune of a whopping $265,000. You’ll also enjoy access to business class lounges at close to 300 global airports, along with 24-hour concierge phone service, hotel discounts, restaurants and car rental worldwide and other services. Wait a minute – isn’t that what American Express offers as well as the Visa Black card? And you don’t even have a $65,000 annual fee, either. Those carefully selected 100 customers also receive a complimentary iPhone 5.
Clearly, the standard credit card isn’t going away anytime soon.
To ensure the credit card remains a viable financial product for those who aren’t the 100 carrying the diamond studded Visa, new technology is including numeric keypads and an LCD screens. In other words, the hope is to steer you away from the convenience of your smartphone, with its keypads and LCD screens, with another keypad and LCD screen. MasterCard is leading the way with its Display Card and is quite confident it’s the next big “must have” the world will be flocking to. While the media isn’t privy to all of the details just yet, probably because they’re still trying to work out the benefits and methods of putting a PIN pad on the card itself, versus the ATM or other gadgets, MasterCard says it will first introduce this marvel in the Philippines, of all places. Because their economy is booming, right? Most critics are using words as, “silly” and “unnecessary” and asking important questions like, “Really? This is the best we can do?” But we’ve learned not to underestimate MasterCard.
In fact, the credit card giant is promising its Display Card is the “next generation of payment cards.” It’s also stressing the importance of security and ensuring it will be safer than the products we already use. The touch sensitive buttons which allows the user to key his password one time, is going to add a higher level of security. But we’re wondering how the company will address questions such as:
I had my Display Card in my wallet and as soon as I sat down, the buttons were somehow pressed that bought 3 million acres of ocean in the Caribbean.
My two-year old had no idea what she was doing and now I need to cancel that order for 300 toothbrushes from Amazon.
Think Tech Support won’t get THOSE kinds of questions? Think again. MasterCard said in its presser that, “this card could incorporate additional functionality and be able to indicate other real time information such as available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions, and other interactive information.” Clearly, the card company is thinking long term.
So what are your thoughts? Think this is the credit card of the future? Would you own one? And would you let your jealousy get the best of you if it turns out your brother is one of the chosen few to receive that gold and diamond studded Visa? If so, let us know how you’d handle that jealousy. Need inspiration? I’d hide that credit card for a few days and then suddenly find it for him at the bottom of the pond in his back yard. But that’s just me.