MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) has announced that it will phase out the magnetic stripes on its debit and credits cards in the next ten years as part of its larger initiative to deploy secure and more capable alternatives to the conventional swipe.
MasterCard to phase out cards using magnetic stripes
The payment processing firm said it would be the pioneer in phasing out magnetic stripes introduced in the 60s. The stripes enabled banks to store information on a metallic tape stuck on the credit card. However, with the technological advancements that include the use of biometric identification, microchips, and contactless payments, it appears like the mag stripe’s time is up.
Interestingly, card swipes will not go away immediately as newly issued MasterCards will still need to have magnetic stripes. However, as from 2024, they will be optional, and the company will stop issuing cards having the magnetic stripes by 2029. In a blog post, the company indicated that they expect to do away with cards having the stripe by 2033. MasterCard explained that partners who still depend on the technology would have a long runway of almost a decade to do away with the technology and introduce cards using chips.
World-changing to chip-based cards
Cards that have chips have become a norm considering the chip is more secure relative to the magnetic stripe since it generates a unique code that a bank has to verify. As a result, they have become difficult to duplicate compared to magnetic stripes, which prevent hackers from accessing credit card information by hacking into merchants’ payment systems.
Although chip-based cards were created in the 60s, it took years to gain traction since they could not work with all terminals. As a result, a new global standard was created for widespread acceptance called EMV. MasterCard indicates that currently, around 86% of face-to-face transactions use EMV globally.
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