Are credit cards about to become obsolete?

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Soon we may all be able to cut up our credit cards. 

Apple is rumored to be adding a new level of technology to the next versions of iPhones and iPads that would enable you to make purchases in stores by simply swiping the phone near a reader.

The technology is called a Near Field Communication chip, or an NFC chip. It’s a chip inside a smart phone that can be waved in front of a reader and used to pay for things in stores. The thinking is Apple would have direct access to your banking info. It would work the same way you can use your debit card and the money would come out of your bank account.

All this got we thinking about credit cards which I viewed as a rather new invention.  I remember my first – it was  Texaco my father gave me when I went off to college.  Unfortunately it wasn’t good for anything except gas and I didn’t even have a car!

Actually, the credit card has quite a long history.  It was conceived by  businessman Frank McNamara on a cold winter evening  in 1949 when he invited some associates out for dinner and discovered he had left his wallet home. He had to call his wife to come bring him some cash.

That embarrassing situation, led him to start Diner’s Club which card holders could use at a limited number of restaurants.  The idea caught on like wildfire – and well, you know the rest.  Most of us have from three to 10 cards. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to buy some stock in NFC before anyone else hears about it.

2 thoughts on “Are credit cards about to become obsolete?

  1. If you cancel credit cards, especially the one you have had the longest, watch your credit score take a little dive. Also, did you know that if you ask your credit card company to lower your credit limit, your credit score also takes a hit?
    When we had the identity theft issue a couple of years ago, the law enforcement officer told me that he requested that his credit limit be lowered to $3000. Then, if they were vacationing, etc., he would call and have it raised. That way, if his card was stolen, there was a limit to what the thief could charge. I did that and later learned it was not the best thing to do.

  2. I have paid off my credit cards and vow never to buy anything more than I can pay each month. It’s a very freeing experience. I’m wondering how many cards are still active out there that I don’t remember ever having and haven’t canceled. I think I posted recently that someone applied for a home loan in Colorado and used my social security number. That was a pain to clear up.

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