Are credit cards starting to act like smartphones?

By , CardRatings Contributor

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

Mobile phones have been trying to turn themselves into credit cards, but are credit cards now trying to become mobile phones?

Well, perhaps that's overstating it a bit, but MasterCard just announced that next year, starting in January, they'll be putting on the market in Singapore, a credit card that looks a little like a phone.

In other words, MasterCard's new credit card, called the Display Card, has touch-sensitive buttons and an LCD screen on it. Basically, this is for affluent Singapore cardholders, allowing them to type in a one-time password to authenticate that the credit card really is theirs, before they conduct expensive or complicated transactions. It helps prevent identity theft, since if you're a crook with the card, you'd presumably have to know the password to be able to use it before buying, say, a 55-inch widescreen TV.

Still, given that we now have a credit card that has buttons and using wireless technology to transmit information from consumer to credit card issuer and retailer, you could imagine credit cards one day featuring add-on technology that would allow a consumer to make a call, if not to a friend or family, perhaps to the credit card issuer itself, or maybe to a customer service line for a product.

That said, as noted, the technology has less to do with competing with smartphones than trying to prevent identity theft, and clearly, MasterCard is thinking ahead and imagining what they might do with their card technology in the coming years. According to MasterCard's press release about the Display Card, "in the future, this card would incorporate additional functionalities and be able to indicate other real time information such as available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions, and other interactive information."

So instead of looking up your information on your PC, tablet or smartphone, you could look it up on your credit card.

So this may just be the beginning. If these credit cards are a hit in Singapore, they could evolve to the point where they have a lot of useful bells and whistles. And especially if smartphones don't ultimately replace the credit card as the optimum method of paying for things, we may someday start seeing these "display cards" in the United States and throughout the world.


Be the first to comment!

Select Your Credit Score:
(Ok to Guess)
None/Limited I don't Know

Featured Partner Cards

  How is your credit?
Oops! Your credit does not qualify you for this card. Applying and being rejected for this card could possibly hurt your credit
We are redirecting you to offers you are qualified for based on your credit.
CardRatings is excited to announce the launch of the
100% Free CardRatings Email Course to Learn How to Maximize Travel Rewards.

Created in partnership with ChooseFI

We partnered with ChooseFI to combine CardRatings’ offer expertise with ChooseFI’s tried and true travel rewards strategies. Get to know ChooseFI: they have changed tens of thousands of lives and recently won Podcast of the Year at FinCon.
You may think you are a rewards travel expert, but rewards strategies are changing (e.g., the days of card churning and manufactured spending are numbered). Learn powerful, sustainable strategies (a couple of which even you die-hard travel experts might not know). You'll be so glad you did.
We're planning more courses for the future; this is just the beginning of our journey.