In this day and age, there are many payment options out there that are widely accepted across the globe. Of course, credit card payments are one of them.
Lots of people prefer plastic when it comes to paying in stores or online. What’s more, credit and debit cards are highly convenient. Especially now, during these challenging times, the tap-to-pay system is particularly useful.
Credit cards first appeared in 1958, and they became one of the preferred methods of payment today. Credit card statistics show that around 180 million Americans own at least one credit card, while the average number is three per person.
What’s so convenient about them, and what’s in store for “plastic money” in general? Let’s delve deeper and find out!
Convenience Is the Name of the Game
The reason why so many people love paying with credit cards is due to convenience. People appreciate convenience not just when it comes to online purchases, but also offline ones.
Apart from not having to carry cash around when you need to buy something expensive, credit cards can be helpful in emergencies, too.
For example, being hospitalized often means paying in advance to get proper medical care. As such, it doesn’t matter how much cash you have in your pocket; the credit card can cover the bill. The insurance provider will then go on to refund that sum once your bank verifies what the money was used for.
Hence, it’s no wonder then that the number of new credit cards is on the rise each year, and this trend is likely to continue.
Artificial Intelligence — The Game Changer
70% of finance companies already use AI. Analysts estimate that we’ll see this increasing to almost complete dominance of the industry by 2030.
However, this might happen sooner than expected as numerous companies that were planning to migrate to AI software are doing so now because they’re forced into it (due to the pandemic).
COVID-19 changed the way companies operate. A lot of people are losing their jobs because they are unable to continue working, and artificial intelligence is taking their place.
Those that continue to work have to rely on AI to improve social distancing. They are more likely to choose AI-powered options like self-checkout.
The most lasting effect of COVID-19 on the finance industry may well be that it’s preparing us for the future. We’ll become used to integrating AI solutions with our daily lives.
COVID-19 or not, AI is marching forward. It had a massive impact on our lives long before there was any talk of the pandemic. It will be even more impactful in the future.
At the moment, not a lot of jobs are affected by it. However, that might change soon.
For example, loans are given to customers based on their ability to pay back the whole sum, with monthly interest rates. This process of evaluating who’s eligible and who’s not is done primarily by experts and employees who spend a lot of time researching client data.
With AI, this process will be done in a matter of seconds, allowing managers to have more time to focus on doing other things as the AI algorithm decides whether or not to approve a loan.
Also, seeing how everyone is active on social media, apps, search engines, and the internet in general, AI has a complete overview of everything we do. Sharing your credit card credentials online means that banks have full knowledge of what you’re doing.
Does this seem like a breach of your privacy? It sure looks like it! Nevertheless, the document you sign when obtaining a credit card protects them from a potential lawsuit.
Consumerism on the Rise
The good news is that you won’t have to look for products; the products will find you. AI software will figure out what you need and want to buy based solely on what you search for online.
More good news — you’ll be able to purchase these products and services with your credit card by giving a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
Even as we speak, you can use your credit card to shop with the help of your smart speaker. Still, in the very near future, this will be somewhat different.
Instead of asking Alexa to buy groceries you need, your refrigerator will be able to order them for you. This is all thanks to your credit card being connected to other appliances in your house due to the rising IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
The same goes for any online content you view or interact with on the internet. For instance, the AI will offer various personalized suggestions and recommendations based on your online activity, and all you have to do is confirm. The funds will automatically be deducted from your credit card.
With the rise of biometric payment cards, credit cards will be able to store sensitive data, such as fingerprints, alongside your finances. That means that credit card users will be able to verify who they are and make transactions by merely pressing a finger against a card. A green light will indicate whether it’s a match or not.
Apart from the convenience and the sheer practicality of it, the data might also be used to unlock certain discounts and services. For instance, your credit card holds your medical history, where it says that your doctor prescribed more physical activity. Your local gym then goes on to read this data and offers you a neat discount as a result.
Whatever the case, we can only speculate about all the possible uses of credit cards in the coming years. As such, no one can accurately predict how things will develop, but one thing is certain — credit cards and cashless payment will not disappear any time soon.
They may evolve and change their looks, but the basic principles of “plastic money” will surely be around for years to come.