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Visa to Change the Way Consumers Use Their Cards | Credit Card News & Advice

Key Takeaways

  • Visa has announced new products and services that aim to evolve the card concept into a digital-native experience.
  • Visa Flexible Credential will use a single card product that can switch between payment methods, including debit, credit, rewards points or “pay-in-four.”
  • Visa introduced more ways to use tap technology, including tapping your device to authenticate online purchases or transfer funds to family and friends.
  • New security methods may be coming soon, including use of biometrics to authorize online payments and Visa passkeys in place of passwords or one-time codes. 

One card to rule them all? Tap for everything? Biometric security? Visa recently laid out a number of innovations to its credit cards at the company’s annual payments forum in San Francisco. The new features could help customers carry fewer physical cards in their wallets and ultimately make the 16-digit credit or debit card number obsolete.

Slimmer Wallets on the Horizon

The major announcement included the introduction of the Visa Flexible Credential, which streamlines multiple customer accounts into a single card product. Customers can then select which payment method they want when using the card. Choices can include debit, credit, “pay-in-four” (a buy now, pay later option) or rewards points.

“I do think that consumers want thinner and smarter wallets,” says Matthew Goldman, a credit card expert and founder and managing member of payment consulting firm Totavi.

After all, Goldman notes, consumers carry an array of credit, debit, and loyalty cards. However, he’s not convinced that the Visa Flexible Credential will be the solution unless there will be cross-network capability – something companies have been trying to do for years.

Tap, Tap, Tap

With the popularity of tap-to-pay, Visa wants consumers to be able to tap for other tasks, as well. For instance, Tap to Confirm will authenticate online purchases; Tap to Add Card will enhance security when adding a new payment method; and Tap to P2P (person-to-person) can be used to transfer funds to family and friends.

Biometrically Secured Transactions

The company also announced the rollout of the Visa Payment Passkey Service, which will confirm a consumer’s identity and authorize online payments using biometrics like a facial scan or fingerprint. This will replace the need for passwords or one-time codes online.

While Goldman is a huge fan of biometrics, he isn’t sure if Visa’s idea is better or different than other technologies.

“I have been really impressed with what Amazon has been doing with handprint identification in stores and there are startups like PopID trying to do this with facial recognition. However, there are some real technical challenges,” he says.

Namely, consumers may push back on the idea of having their biometric information stored on a server somewhere, unlike FaceID, which is stored locally on your device.

Visa is also using artificial intelligence technology in Latin America and the U.K. to help reduce payment fraud risk. The company plans to bring this technology along with the ability to “pay by bank” to the U.S., as well.

Sarah Goldberg
Sarah Goldberg

Sarah is a seasoned financial market expert with a decade of experience. She's known for her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate complex financial concepts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, is a licensed financial advisor, and enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.

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