Mastercard Plans To Say Goodbye To Magnetic Stripes In 2024
The technology that makes magnetic stripes possible dates back to the 1960s.
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.”
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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.
Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator Comes To Photoshop
The Generative Fill tool will arrive in the app’s tool palette sometime in the second half of this year.
Adobe Photoshop is the latest app to benefit from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, gaining a new tool called Generative Fill. The company’s AI image generator Firefly benefitted from the new feature in a web-only update back in March, and today, the Generative Fill tool launches in beta for the popular photo editing program.
Generative Fill is a little like a smarter version of Adobe’s existing Content-Aware Fill feature and works within individual Photoshop image layers. The tool can be used to expand the borders of an image (a feature known as outpainting) or to generate entirely new objects, and contains a text prompt to add direction to the AI technology.
Adobe claims its AI is only trained to work on Adobe Stock images, licensed content, and images without copyright restrictions. Generative Fill also supports a system called Content Credentials, which attaches metadata-style attributes to images before they are shared online, informing viewers that content was created or edited with the help of AI.
“By integrating Firefly directly into workflows as a creative co-pilot, Adobe is accelerating ideation, exploration and production for all of our customers,” announced Ashley Still, the senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe. “Generative Fill combines the speed and ease of generative AI with the power and precision of Photoshop, empowering customers to bring their visions to life at the speed of their imaginations,” she added.
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Generative Fill isn’t yet available in the latest version of Photoshop, but if you’re curious about how the tool works, you can download the desktop beta app or try it out within a module of the Firefly beta. Adobe is still tight-lipped about the exact release date of Generative Fill, but says we can expect the new feature to drop sometime in the second half of 2023.