Is this the end of plastic? Visa's new technology could replace physical cards

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The days of double-checking your credit card may be over. Credit card giant Visa says you will soon be able to store your payment methods — credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts — all in one place, potentially making physical cards and even credit card numbers obsolete.

It's part of the credit card processor's plan to use generative artificial intelligence to change the payments landscape. After all, when was the last time you swiped or inserted a credit or debit card to pay? Visa data shows that by the end of 2023, the global adoption rate of tap payment will reach 65%.

“The industry is at a critical moment – new technologies like Gen AI are rapidly changing the way we shop and manage our finances,” Jack Forestell, Visa's chief product and strategy officer, said in a press release.

In addition to enhancing its tap-to-pay capabilities, Visa on Wednesday announced a new suite of payment technologies designed to change the way you make payments across your account, including where and how you use your card.

Within ten years, you may be able to use one voucher to access all your cards and choose the payment methods you want to use. This includes not only credit and debit cards, but also Buy Now, Pay Later options and direct debits from your bank account.

At least for now, Visa Flexible Certificates can only be withdrawn from different accounts within the same institution, so you can only use cards within the Visa network.

The service is currently available in Asia and is scheduled to launch in the United States this summer.

Biometric protection for your payments

Visa is committed to fighting digital fraud and preventing bad actors from using your card to make unauthorized payments with Visa Payment Passkey.

According to the payments processing giant, digital fraud occurs seven times more frequently than in-person transactions. With Passkey, you can use unique biometric information (face or fingerprint) to confirm online transactions and prevent unauthorized payments.

You'll check out online and add your card information as usual. An additional screen will pop up to verify your identity via face or fingerprint scan.

“[Biometric confirmation is] James Mirfin, senior vice president and head of global risk and identity solutions at Visa, said:

Expansion of tap-to-pay technology

Visa is also expanding its tap-to-pay capabilities. Gone are the days of taking a photo of a card to add to a digital wallet. Instead, Visa is rolling out technology that allows you to tap your card on your smart device to add it to your wallet. You can also swipe your card on your phone to confirm the transaction without entering any other information.

How to protect your messages

While new technology may help protect you from bad actors, you can help protect yourself from scams now by:

  • use a Virtual card number. A virtual credit card number generates a unique card number for online use. It helps keep your financial information more secure by preventing merchants from storing your credit card information.
  • Do not disclose your personal information. Even if you agree to receive text messages from your bank or credit card, they will never request personal or confidential information via text message.
  • Consider using Identity Theft Protection and Monitoring Services. The best services monitor your profile for signs of fraud and identity theft. Many also pointed to questionable credit and banking activity.
  • register Free credit monitoring service. Some of them monitor the dark web for your personally identifiable information, such as your Social Security number and email.

bottom line

Visa is taking digital payments to the next level, while also expanding its cards’ popular click-to-pay feature. Its partnership with AI fraud detection aims to add an extra layer of security to online transactions.

But it remains to be seen whether these new products will become standards across the board. For them to truly become commonplace, card-issuing banks and merchants that accept these cards must adopt these new methods.

Other card networks – American Express, Discover and MasterCard – will also need to allow their products to be added to Visa's flexible credentials to truly become a one-stop shop for all your card and payment information.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective, independent assessment of our authors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It is not provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services provided by our partners.

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