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Mastercard Plans To Say Goodbye To Magnetic Stripes In 2024

The technology that makes magnetic stripes possible dates back to the 1960s.

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mastercard plans to say goodbye to magnetic stripes in 2024
Mastercard

The pandemic has changed a lot of things, including the way we pay for goods and services. According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 1 billion more contactless transactions were processed in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. What’s more, 45% of all in-person checkout transactions in the second quarter of 2021 were contactless.

Now, the global payments and a technology company has announced that it plans to start phasing out the use of magnetic stripes on its credit and debit cards in 2024.

As explained in the official announcement, the magnetic stripe will first start to disappear for Mastercard payment cards in regions where chip cards are already widely used, such as Europe. In regions where magnetic stripes are still used relatively often, the phasing out process will be delayed by 3 years. From 2029, no new Mastercard credit or debit cards will be issued with a magnetic stripe.

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

Also Read: Abu Dhabi Has Dropped Business Setup Fees By Up To 94%

The technology that makes magnetic stripes possible dates back to the 1960s, and we now have much more convenient and, above everything else, safer alternatives. One such alternative is the global EMV chip standard, which was introduced in the 1990s, enabling cardholder details to be held more securely on small integrated circuit chips embedded into cards.

Cards with EMV chips are currently responsible for 86% of in-person card transactions. We also have contactless payments, which can be made either using a card or with a modern, NFC-enabled smartphone. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many policymakers and retailers have been endorsing contactless payments as the best payment method available, and the trend will likely continue even in the future.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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