One of the biggest reasons why certain sectors are able to sustain themselves through extensive timescales is because of their ability to introduce and adapt to different trends. These trends help in bringing the industry in line with the needs of that particular period. With this method, not only we are able to cater our ever-changing needs, but we are also able to improve the dynamics of these sectors, bringing them into their best possible shape. Finance sector is no different to this tradition. Over the years, the meaning of finance has stretched across different areas, each one adding to its core value. However, no one expected the leap it made when technology forayed into its backyard. Suddenly, finance became more about value exchange rather than just an exchange of paper currency. Once people realized how seamless and effective it can potentially be, there was no going back. Instead, it led to the christening of a whole new sphere, a sphere of fintech. Even though everyone was well aware of what all it could do, the sector did take some time to get off the ground. It wasn’t just because a larger chunk of people were still stuck in their old ways, but also because not having to rely on a wad of cash felt strangely unsettling.

However, we were able to come around, and one thing that helped us to do that was the magnetic stripe card in our pockets. The ease of purchasing with just a swipe was unbeatable. These cards would go on to become an absolute essential for us, but now it’s time for a change again. No, we are not abandoning these cards altogether, but we are saying our goodbyes to the magnetic stripe on them. These stripes have long helped banks in encoding user information, but with the arrival of chip cards and biometric technology, the stripes become bit of a redundancy. Mastercard has led the charge for this in U.S. as they become the first payments network to publically cut ties with magnetic stripes. Starting from 2024, no debit or credit card issued by Mastercard will be required to have a magnetic stripe. Interestingly, U.S. has been one of the last few major markets to finally make a switch to chip cards. The country chose to play the wait and watch game, but the growing security concerns finally had them caved in.

Another factor that played into U.S. decision to approve the use of chip cards was the pandemic. During numerous surveys, U.S. citizens clearly expressed their keenness to have contactless transactions, and it’s looking like they are finally getting their wish.