Magnetic stripes at the back of credit and debit cards are pretty ubiquitous these days. But the tech behind it is really old, dating back to the 1960s. And after about six decades of service, Mastercard is sunsetting its use.
The company announced on its website that this “points to both consumers changing habits for payments and the development of newer technologies. Today, most cards hold their information in more capable and secure chips anyway. And the new tech allows for newer contactless transaction methods.
In response to this, Mastercard says that its cards will no longer be required to have the magnetic stripes starting in 2024. Though from the sound of it, they remain an available option. At least until 2033, when the company will no longer have them at all. The slow, nine-year sunsetting period is to allow Mastercard partners to transition to newer chip card tech.
Overall, it’s probably for the better. Those who have gone through the process probably remember at some point wincing when a cashier swiped them with excessive enthusiasm. Double that for every time the transaction fails to go through, and you have to see it happen again. Now, it’s just the matter of inserting your card into a point of sale terminal and inputting your password, or tapping your card on the device.