Visa Plans to Make Big Changes to How US Credit and Debits Cards Work

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Credit and Debits Cards Are About to Change for the Better

Visa announced today that Americans will soon see a major change to the way credit and debit cards work in the U.S.. The biggest change is a feature that will let people carry fewer physical cards in their wallet and could be coming as soon as this year.

The new features could mean Americans might carry just one physical card in their wallets while still using accounts from several banks. It will also make the 16-digit credit or debit card number printed on every card increasingly irrelevant.

While Visa might be moving quickly to bring these features to market, it might take time to be implement by banks. 

One Card Linked to Several Accounts

This is expected to be one of the biggest changes since chip-embedded cards launched several years ago, ABC reports. Americans will have the ability for banks to issue one physical payment card that will be connected to multiple bank accounts. That means that you no longer need to carry debit and credit cards from Bank of America or Chase.

Instead, you will be able to use just one physical card and set criteria such as having all purchases below $100 or with a certain merchant applied to the Bank of America debit card for example, while other purchases go on the Chase credit card. This can be quite useful if you are able to set categories such as dining to be charged on a card that offers the highest rewards.

This is a feature that is already being used in Asia, and could be available as soon as this summer through Affirm.

16-Digit Account Number

Another feature is the lack of a printed 16-digit account number, which is something that we saw with the the Apple Card. It makes it easier to get a new new credit card number without having to replace your physical card.

“Visa executives see a future where banks will issue cards where the 16-digit account number, if the new cards come with them, is largely symbolic”, ABC says.

Tap-to-Pay and Biometrics

Among the other updates unveiled by Visa are changes to tap-to-pay features. You will soon be able to tap your credit or debit card to a smartphones to add the card to mobile wallets, instead of using a smartphone’s camera to scan in a card’s information, or tap the card to their smartphones to approve a transaction online.

Visa will also start implementing biometrics to approve transactions, similar to how Apple devices use a fingerprint or face scan.

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