MasterCard is replacing magnetic stripes on credit cards

*The electronic payment giant discloses it is time to eliminate the stripes and practice of ‘swiping’, as it acknowledges that the cards currently in use can demagnetise or become damaged with extended use

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Consumers using credit cards issued by MasterCard will get replacement cards in the next few years.

The electronic payments company says it is removing the magnetic stripe on the back of cards containing payment information, agency report stated.

ConsumerConnect reports Mastercard Incorporated is an American multinational financial services corporation, headquartered in the Mastercard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York, United States (US).

The Global Operations Headquarters is located in O’Fallon, Missouri, a municipality of St. Charles County, Missouri.

It was gathered in the last six years, information contained in the firm’s credit and debit cards has been transmitted from an embedded chip.

Instead of swiping cards at payment terminals, consumers with chip-enabled cards have been inserting their cards instead.

The cards consumers now have in their wallets feature both the chip and the magnetic stripes.

MasterCard has disclosed that it is finally time to eliminate the stripes, while acknowledging that the cards currently in use can demagnetise or become damaged with extended use.

The stripes are also not as secure as the chips, and chip cards store their data on an actual computer chip embedded in the plastic, reports ConsumerAffairs.

The cards are placed in a card reader that reads the encrypted data. Some terminals also feature a contactless interface, with the machine reading the data from the chip just a few inches away.

For higher level of security

Report indicates the credit card companies have moved to the chips because they are more secure, especially at gas pumps.

It was learnt that thieves sometimes replace a pump’s card reader with a “skimmer” that captures data from the magnetic stripe when the card is swiped.

Before deciding to remove the stripe, Mastercard commissioned a poll of its credit card consumers.

The poll found that most do not even think about the stripe on the back of their card, report stated.

Only 11 percent of consumers thought it was a bad idea to remove the stripe. Ninety-two percent said removing the stripe would not affect their use of the card.

As a matter of old technology, it is noted the magnetic stripe, developed by IBM, was introduced to credit cards in the early 1960s.

Hitherto, clerks reportedly wrote out the consumer’s information by hand.

The phase-out of the magnetic stripe will begin in 2024, and banks in the United States (US) that issue credit cards will not have to provide a magnetic stripe, effective from 2027, according to report.

MasterCard says it is already working on the next generation of credit cards that will be even more secure than the chip card.

A biometrics card, the company added, will one day combine fingerprints with chips to verify the consumer’s identity.

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