Guest Article from Alayna Pehrson – Content Management Specialist at BestCompany.com
Credit cards can play a major part in determining the status of your credit reports and credit score—the key stepping stones to obtaining the best financial opportunities society has to offer. As technology evolves, credit cards are evolving too, and to maximize their benefits, you’ll want to stay on top of the changes.
Increasing payment variety
Physical credit cards, although helpful when trying to build credit, are starting to lose the popularity game to different payment methods like Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and virtual credit cards. These payment methods are constantly advancing and are expected to gain even more popularity in the future. Although a potential decrease in credit card usage may seem surprising, the world has already seen a different form of payment lose its frequency: cash. Due to the development of credit cards, debit cards, and digital payments, cash transactions became less popular. So, what does this mean for physical credit cards? Growing payment variety may cause credit card usage to drop until physical credit cards will no longer be a reality. On the other hand, credit cards have adapted in the past, which has led consumers to use them regardless of technological advancements. Although credit cards may be fighting a losing battle in comparison to newer forms of payment, credit cards are still valuable as they are directly correlated with credit reports and credit scores. A person’s credit score cannot be influenced (yet) by online/mobile/app payments. In order to continue getting certain rewards, opportunities, loans, etc., the public has to continue using credit cards on a regular basis. Until another form of payment evolves to influence credit, credit cards will still play an important part in society’s future.
Security risks and advancements
Although credit card security has improved over the past couple of years with the implementation of around-the-clock credit monitoring and fraud alerts as well as identity protection services, credit card identity theft is still a constant threat. Physical credit cards are at-risk more so than virtual credit cards and mobile payments because credit cards and credit card numbers can be physically stolen. People who regularly use credit cards usually carry them in a purse or wallet and use them to make in-store purchases. If they are not careful, thieves can easily steal the card or write down the number when the card owner is using the card to make an in-store purchase. Criminals can also steal a credit card number if the card owner swipes the card at an unsecured location or if the card owner makes a purchase online on an unsecured website. Credit card thieves can use credit card skimmers to steal credit card information. Thieves can also use malware to obtain credit card information off of a personal device or computer. While the future of credit card security looks bright as new technology and security measures are being developed, other forms of payment may continue to prove more secure regardless of future credit card security.
Current credit card usage
Credit cards are designed to be influential forms of payment. For instance, having a good credit score along with clean credit reports can help you buy a car, purchase a home, get better interest rates, earn rewards, get approved for loans, or land a dream job. Bad credit, although devastating, can be fixed via credit repair and the sensible use of a credit card. The world will continue to use credit cards for those very reasons until there is a significant change that forces credit cards out of the picture. Because credit cards have been used for years on end and have evolved throughout time, there is not yet substantial evidence that proves credit cards will be obsolete in the near future.