After the introduction of credit and debit cards, paying for things with cash quickly became something of a myth. I don’t know many people who even carry cash around anymore, unless they know they will be needing it for, say, paying the neighborhood kid to mow their lawn. And even then, the kid probably has a mobile card reader on his smartphone that will deliver your payment directly in his Paypal account.
But credit and debit cards could soon also become a thing of the past. Last year, Visa introduced to the general public a version of the payment rings it had given to the athletes it sponsored in the 2016 Rio Olympics, mysteriously hinting at the fact that it had future plans for the technology. Well, that technology is nearly here. Or so Visa hopes.
The as-yet-to-be-named new method of payment consists of a small sticker that can be affixed to the back of your hand. The unobtrusive ‘credit sticker’ (for lack of a better term) that can interact with most internet-connected devices such as your phone or tablet. The best part is that you wouldn’t have to enter any credit card information. You would first log in to the Visa app to set up your sticker, and then put your credit card away. So whenever you would be shopping on a new site that isn’t set up with your credit information, all you’d have to do is scan your sticker and get on with your day.
All your information would be tokenized, which means that all your personal information is replaced by a random digital code. If you lose your sticker, or if you think it has been stolen, you can simply go to the Visa app and turn it off. If you later find it, you can turn the service back on.
One of the downsides of the sticker at this stage is that there is no confirmation option once it has been scanned. This means that if you inadvertently swipe your hand against a scanner, your item is ordered instantly and you can’t back out of your purchase. And if your kids get a hold of your sticker while it’s turned on, they can basically go on a shopping spree without a need for passwords or credit card information. Hopefully Visa is working on these issues. There is no launch date for the credit sticker as of yet.