Has anything new and interesting been happening in the smartcard realm, or have people given up on them and shifted all the cool functions to smartphones?
Nancy Jonselle, Merchant level salesperson
Thank you for your note. It arrived just after we received a link to "Smartcards (finally) get smarter: innovation in payments," by Stéphanie El Rhomri, vice president testing services at FIME. El Rhomri stated that the launch of new, non-standard cards is giving payment cards the boost they need to continue to thrive. "Undoubtedly, digital services will continue to gather momentum – but we aren't saying goodbye to the trusted payment card just yet," she wrote. "In fact, many are even citing the rise of contactless payment cards as actually slowing the adoption of mobile payments."
El Rhomri also noted that fear of fraud has been a major concern limiting consumer adoption of contactless cards, but biometric technology might solve this problem. "Already commonplace in smartphones, the addition of fingerprint sensors to payment cards is bringing security to contactless, without compromising the much-loved user experience," she wrote.
Also, innovation goes beyond biometrics. "It's not just fingerprint sensors we're seeing embedded into cards either," she stated. "LED display screens are also growing in popularity, with a range of new functions in trial: from one-time passcodes (OTP) for added security, to account balances to help manage spending."
And El Rhomri pointed out that banks are issuing more stylish cards. She cited Monzo's hot coral card and the "choose-your-own" color Klarna cards as examples. "Consumers want choice, flexibility and security, and the new-age of card is shaping up to be the perfect partner to mobile and online services," she concluded.
For the full article and research data, please visit www.fime.com.
How do you see payment options evolving over the next several years? Will newer form factors supplant physical payment cards, smart and otherwise, in significant numbers? Will physical wallets be relegated to museums? Share your perspectives on this and other issues in payments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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