From the clay tablet to paper money and now credit reports and cards, new innovations have nearly always made their way into being used as a form of currency or payment.
History is quickly giving way to the future, however, and the credit card of the future could look very different from the devices we have today. Here are just three things the future holds for that square of plastic in your wallet.
1) Dissolving credit cards
Having your credit card stolen can be one of the most frustrating moments of your life. While it's possible to get your card cancelled ASAP to prevent undue damage to your credit file, it is still maddening to know that there is someone out there who has access to your personal details.
Enter transient materials, a creation from Iowa State University that results in cards that melt at the flick of a switch. If someone compromises your card, the loot from their crime would literally disappear before their eyes.
2) Car connectivity
From drive-in diners to drive-thru fast food restaurants, the world has an obsession with cars. Here in Australia, the realm of Holden, the principality of Ford, that feeling goes double.
As a result, you may not be surprised to learn that Visa is pushing for smart integration of payment methods with our vehicles. Revealed at the Mobile World Congress in March last year, we may one day be able to pay for fuel, food and parking all from the comfort of our car1. Considering how ubiquitous credit card usage has now become, it's very likely this payment method would be integrated as well.
3) The phone payment
Soon, all of our cards could be in one place.
However, this kind of payment system wouldn't only be limited to use in cars. We are already seeing the advent of people utilising their phone indirectly as a means to pay for goods and services through a NFC (near field communication) device.
While these can already be used at PayWave devices, there are already more integrated methods coming, such as Apple's iBeacon or the Semble App. Soon, all of our cards could be in one place, making it that much easier to keep track of your spending and ensuring your credit file remains healthy.
Our payment systems are heading into the future, but one thing will remain consistent: the importance of maintaining your credit file. Make sure you know what's going on with your credit history with an Equifax credit report.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.
1Visabrand AP (via Youtube), The Connect Car Is Here.