Mastercard is to stop issuing cards with a magnetic strip


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Mastercard declared that by 2033 none of its debit or credit cards will have a strip. Further banks in various regions of including Europe will be able to issue the new version of cards from 2024.

It was in 2006 that the US switched to chip-and-pin for all card payments. But some magnetic strip systems are still in use.

According to Mastercard chip-and-pin and new biometric cards that use fingerprints offer greater security.

The company claims to be the first payment network to phase out the technology.

A spokesperson told the BBC the level of global acceptance of chip-and-pin was such that the time was right to begin phasing out the magnetic strip.

The slow phasing out is to leave what the firm calls a “long runway” for companies accepting payments to move to chip-and-pin.

Spy-dentity cards

The magnetic strip began life in the 1960s as an IBM project to create identity cards for CIA staff.

Mastercard’s engineer, Forrest Parry had the idea of sticking information encoded on the magnetic tape to a plastic card. But he faced a lot of trouble to join them together.

Although his wife Dorothea Parry thought of using heat to join tape to the card. In the beginning, she used iron to experiment.

Although the firm says that the pandemic has emphasized the various ways of payment, increasingly consigning paying using the Parrys’ invention to the history books.

Contactless payments using cards or smartphones increased by more than one billion in the first quarter of 2021 as compared to last year.

New Mastercard

Now all the new cards would include a chip that allows much more security during the transaction.

Moreover, it would be enabling those very convenient and quick contactless payments.

This also allows the card to remain in the possession of the consumer at all times, which is preferable for everyone involved. 

Mastercard mentions biometric cards, which are certainly not common yet, but allow for a fingerprint reader on the card to add an extra layer of security.

The decision to remove the magnetic stripe has been governed by usage. Based on Mastercard’s figures, the stripe won’t be required on cards “in most markets” by 2024.

The plan is to remove the stripe from all Mastercard debit and credit cards by 2033, by which point nobody should be relying on swiping a card to pay in any market.



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