Plastic Cards In No Danger Of Leaving Us Soon, Experts Agree

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

With mobile payments on the radar for most FIs and merchants, the logical question arises about the future of plastic payment cards. Most FIs are not focused on the possibility. From a article:

“I have never heard any widespread discussion amongst bankers about looking to reduce plastic card issuing in the future,” Steve Kenneally, American Bankers Association spokesperson, tells PaymentsSource.

Bankers may not express concern about a plastic card’s holding power because they think in terms of credit accounts instead of credit cards, says Kenneally, who works with the Washington, D.C.-based association’s payments systems task force.

“The account is what is essential because an account is still linked to the payment, whether it is from a plastic card or a mobile device,” he adds.

In the future, it may not be necessary for a consumer to have a plastic card in hand, but the important factor remains the transaction itself. And it will boil down to what the consumer wants to use for that transaction, Kenneally suggests.

“If you were talking about no more plastic in that picture, then you’d be talking long, long term,” he adds. “The payments industry is good at inventing new payments methods, but bad at retiring old ones.”

Analysts may disagree about the adoption rate of mobile payments, but few seem to think card issuing will significantly decline in the foreseeable future. Mercator’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series respondents for 2011 note reservations regarding the security and reliability of mobile phones for payments, suggesting that even as mobile payments business models become more clear, consumers will need time for education and experience before broad uptake of mobile payments.

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