Home / Credit News / How will plastic credit cards work in a world of mobile wallets?

In the next few years, it's expected that consumers will adopt mobile purchasing technology en masse, but until that time, lenders are still looking for ways to incentivize plastic use by innovating new features for traditional cards.

More companies are developing ways to make traditional credit card use safer and more rewarding for consumers prior to the widespread adoption of mobile wallets, according to a report from financial news site The Street. However, because mobile wallet use is still projected to be a few years away, that leaves consumers ample opportunity to reap a number of benefits in the interim.

"To work the average consumer away from their cards is going to take a while," JJ Hornblass, executive editor of the blog Bank Innovation, told the news site. "Plastic works. It's hard to get consumers to change payment methods."

One of the new types of plastic now being rolled out involves a new type of payment data storage, the report said. Instead of magnetic strips like traditional credit cards, these cards store account information on a microchip embedded in the card itself, which works by being waved over a special sensor at the time of purchase. This type of card is used throughout the world, but its issuing has been very limited in America.

Another way credit card lenders are working to make card use more palatable is by allowing consumers to link their accounts to those for store loyalty and other "apps," the report said. For example, many might allow consumers to get exclusive deals from merchants for specific types of spending.

Mobile wallet adoption may be taking off slowly but is expected to be quicker once the technology becomes more readily available and consumers can better see its benefits.