Battery Powered Credit Cards?

Technology all around us has been in a constant explosion for decades and shows no signs of stopping within any of our life times.

Why then do we still use the same technology on credit cards that was invented in… wait for it… the 1950’s?!

Yes that is right… that little magnetic strip on the back of credit cards is 1950’s technology and it is still the primary technology for most credit cards in circulation today.  And you thought the 1st generation iPhone was old technology.

But that is all about to change.

Next month Citibank is planning on testing a credit card with a battery (do not worry you won’t have to charge your credit card… it has a 4 year life. (and I know, why don’t they make these batteries for phones?)), a microchip and a button which will allow you to choose whether to make the purchase using credit or your reward points.  Yep, you will be able to press a button on your card to choose.

Now we are talking.  This is technology at work.

But how long will it be?

Now this becomes the question… How long will it be until credit cards are obsolete.  A handful of companies right now are building platforms which will turn your phone into a “virtual wallet”.

Credit Card? There’s an app for that. (do we owe Apple money for saying that?)

Your phone will now not only be your phone, ipod, computer, tv, dictionary, internet, chef, BFF, gaming console, girl friend and navigational device.  It will also be your credit card, debit card, cash, rewards card, check book and banking center.

But with that technology still “in the future”.  The NYTimes reports Citibank and others press on in the technology of credit cards.

Megan Bramlette, director of research for the Auriemma Consulting Group, a payments industry consultant in New York says, “It’s a big deal. If once a month a consumer can fill up their gas tank for free, and they don’t have to do anything except push a button before they swipe their card, that’s cool. And that is something that I think will resonate with consumers.”

I’d say that is a pretty cool thing too.

How do you get into some of this action?

The cards will be tested by a smaller group until Citi decides to release them on a larger scale, probably mid to late 2011.

Check out Rewards Credit Cards.

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