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How Has Payment Technology Evolved in the Last Decade?

Updated on November 6, 2012

What is so Important About Card Processing?

If you are a regular visitor to my Hubpages sub domain you might have read some of my previous hubs about credit card processing including one I wrote in regards to EMV and Chip and PIN here and my last hub was also discussing the latest Contactless Technology.

So where do I find the enthusiasm to write about the merchant services industry? Like I have mentioned previously, I have learned a lot in regards to payment technology in the last year as I have become a regular contributor to a financial blog and I realized upon researching how the security systems work and why certain terminal designs are chosen to provide more convenience for the general public.

One main message I try to express when writing about the topic of card payment is how it seems to be taken for granted by everyday people who rely on it for many of their everyday activities. Much effort is put into security systems such as PCI DSS(discussed here) and the electronic chip which is unique to each card holder in the UK, although everybody forgets that only a decade ago the signature and swipe method was still being used in the UK as a means of verification.

Progress in the Last Decade

As you can tell from those changes made following Chip and PIN's introduction in the UK after 2004, massive leaps towards reducing fraud and more efficient purchasing experiences for consumers have been made.

No longer do customers have the problem of worn magnetic strips on cards or have to worry so much about fraud if their card is lost because there is a much lower chance of a criminal guessing their PIN number than it was easy for them to forge signatures when the old method was in use.

While the magnetic stripe is still used in the United States there are still card machines which accommodate both methods of verification. There are also merchant service providers offering 'Multi Currency Merchant accounts' because of major event's in the UK such as the Olympics and increased international payments being made online. If you are a business owner and are completely new to cards you can find out exactly what fees are involved in having one of these specialist business accounts here(http://www.seymourdirect.com/merchant-account-services).

Recent Advancements

The latest change in card technology has been in the making for several years now and was beta tested in European countries such as Spain and Portugal before it was eventually released nationwide in Britain during 2012, I am of course referring to 'Contactless'

While one might initially have concerns regarding the security of the 'Wave' and 'Pay' approach of Contactless cards, the developers seem to have covered that aspect quite well. The card transaction is only processed if your credit or debit card comes within a precise 4 cm of the terminal, the card issuers have also stated that they will refund any unauthorized charges.

To summarize, it seems payment technology is adapting to our every need whether it be comfort-ability of use or our worries about card theft. We don't even have to use a card with Visa issuing keyfobs and Barclycard supplying mobile phone tabs for customers, so the question that remains to be answered is 'Where can card payment technology go from here?'

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