Mastercard Removing Magnetic Stripe on Credit Cards

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Last updated on April 21st, 2023

The era of the magnetic strip appears to be coming to an end. Mastercard, the world’s second-largest issuer of credit and debit cards, is phasing out the standard magnetic stripes on the back of cards starting in 2024. The gradual relaxation of issuing requirements will extend until 2033, when the ever=present magnetic strip is gone for good.

Mastercard Eliminating Magnetic Stripes Beginning in 2024

The magnetic stripe on your credit card could soon be gone. According to a new report, Mastercard is preparing for a phaseout of the commonplace magnetic stripes beginning in 2024 – a process that could take up to 10 years to complete.

Magnetic stripes (also known as magnetic strips) have been a regular feature on credit and debit cards for decades but have fallen out of favor with many issuers because of security flaws. Instead, many issuers have adopted the EMV chip, which allows for multiple layers of encryption. Mastercard studies show that approximately 86% of face-to-face card transactions globally now take place with EMV chips – highlighting the rise in popularity of the new safety feature.

No Magnetic Strips by 2033

Europe will be the first region to relax card issuance requirements, with EMV chips already enjoying widespread popularity. Because of the growing popularity of EMV chip technology, Mastercard will allow issuers there to begin removing magnetic stripes from its cards beginning in 2024. The strip requirement for U.S. issuers is expected to start being phased out in 2027.

The new rules relaxation plans mean that by 2029, no new Mastercard credit and debit cards will be issued with magnetic stripes. This means there will be no Mastercard products on the market with the old magnetic strip technology by 2033.

The Future of Credit Card Security

EMV chips look to be just one aspect of credit card security in the future. Mastercard has high hopes for biometric cards, which utilize both chip and fingerprint sensor technologies. France is currently a hotbed of biometric card activity. The country serves as a guinea pig to gauge biometric credit and debit cards’ long-term success (and popularity).

Related Article: Why Credit Cards Are Better Than Cash

Featured image by Mastercard

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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