Mastercard to remove magnetic strip on cards

Mastercard is set to gradually stop issuing cards with a magnetic strip.

None of the payment giant’s cards will feature the strip by 2033, and many banks will be able to issue cards without strips from 2024.

The card giant said that chip-and-pin and biometric technology-based cards offer greater security for consumers.

Magnetic strips were first introduced in the 1960s as part of a CIA project spearheaded by IBM.

Magnetic strips have not been used since 2006 in the UK, however they are still in minority use in the US.

The vast majority – 86 per cent – of card transactions globally rely on chip technology, according to Mastercard.

Other payment methods are rapidly displacing magnetic strips; the total volume of contactless transactions is set to hit $2.5 trillion in 2021 according to recent research from analyst house Juniper Research.

The analyst house also predicted that more than half the world population will use a mobile wallet by 2025, in a study commissioned by FinTech Boku.

"It’s time to fully embrace these best-in-class capabilities, which ensure consumers can pay simply, swiftly and with peace of mind,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard. "What’s best for consumers is what’s best for everyone in the ecosystem."

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