Credit Cards - Flickr

Innovation is a part of our daily lives whether it is what we drive, devices we use to communicate or how we shop. The credit cards that we use are no different. According to and, there are five ways that credit cards are likely to change by 2020.

Chip and PIN everywhere. While 2015 will be the year that most merchants in the United States adopt smart-chip compatible terminals, the technological migration away from magnetic stripes is far from complete. Nearly all card issuers and merchants are just now using the chip-and-signature implementation, which just replaces the magnetic stripe with a more advanced microchip. Consequently, if someone steals your credit card, it can still be used in a fraudulent manner. The next step is to migrate to the chip-and-PIN standard, already in use in Europe and several other parts of the world. Only when credit card transactions require the input of a personal identification number (as ATM transactions do now) will we truly reach the next level of security.

One card for all. There are currently several companies vying to introduce a single credit card that will store and transmit the information from all of your accounts. Currently, these cards cost more than $100 each, and none has proved itself in the marketplace. Cardholders can expect that the quality of these payment forms will rapidly improve while the price falls to a level considered to be an affordable expense.

A consistent smartphone protocol for credit cards. When it introduced Apple Pay, Apple put a spotlight on the idea that we could make payments with our mobile devices. Nonetheless, the adoption of the iPhone and the Apple Pay standard has been far from universal. So it seems logical that the next step in the evolution of mobile payments will be an industry-wide technological standard, rather than a proprietary one, much like the EMV smart chip and the magnetic stripe that came before it.

Credit transactions without a card. The purpose of the credit card itself is to authenticate the transaction, and it isn’t very good at doing so. Since credit cards can be lost, stolen, damaged, or just left at home, perhaps the ultimate solution will be to carry no credit card at all. Inexpensive fingerprint readers, like the ones in every new iPhone, could be easily included in merchant terminals, allowing us to leave our cards at home. When shopping over the phone or online, our devices could store and transmit our account information, making the plastic credit card itself into a relic of past.

Security standardization in the credit card industry. Thanks in large part to the security advances made by technology companies such as Apple and Google, there will soon be a system of security standards that will be affordable and accessible to everyone.


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti

(Photo: Credit Cards, Flickr)