Changing the Way You Use Credit Cards

With continued growth in the fintech industry, startups are seeking niches to exploit with disruptive solutions tied to a particular need or problem. Since credit cards continue to be a popular form of payment but that also carry with them numerous issues associated with irresponsible spending and money management as well as fraud, some startup companies have decided to take on credit cards and see if they can solve these issues.

In the process, these startup credit card companies may also be forever changing how we use this form of payment.

  1. Epic One: In trying to rebuild the confidence of consumers after retail hacking threats in the last few years at Target, Home Depot, and others, this startup credit card company has developed the first proactive fraud prevention technology. This company has come up with an innovative approach in that they have found a way to make the credit card data useless to hackers, which means they will no longer try to steal it. The credit card contains a fingerprint reader and microprocessor. When a transaction is done in a store, the data is sent to the issuing bank and Epic One. All the data that the retailer receives is the credit card number and a one-time use code. If someone tries to hack the card, that code won’t work a second time and they will not be able to access the account or use the credit card number for any purchases. For the consumer, this means not losing money nor will they have to cancel the cards and get reissued a new one with a new set of numbers.
  2. OnDot: OnDot has addressed the inconvenience of having your credit card turned off when it detects fraud by finding a way to pair your credit card with your smartphone to ensure you are always the one making the transaction. Beyond that, OnDot has provided consumers with a way to restrict purchases in certain geographical territories, get transaction alerts, turn the card on and off with a swipe, view card history and allow certain family members access and permission to use the card for designated transactions. Working with thousands of bank cards and credit card companies, OnDot is helping to add convenience and control for consumers while greatly reducing the risk of fraud.
  3. Final: Final helps stop fraud and, in the process, takes control back from any of those automatic payments you have tried to stop but just seem to keep coming. You get a credit card with a chip and PIN. For every merchant and transaction, you provide a unique credit card number or a one-time use number for individual purchases. With an automatic payment that you want to end, you just simply de-activate that unique credit card number and get another one when you want to work with a new merchant. You can also limit the amount that the merchant can charge because if they try to go over that amount, you will receive a push notification. The startup credit card company plans to add more features, including a rewards program, in the near future.
  4. Stratos Card: This company is teaching consumers that the future of not having to carry a wallet at all is here, lowering the risk of loss or theft of everything from credit and debit cards to loyalty, membership, and gift cards. It uses the same dual stripe technology as traditional cards, which means it can be used just about everywhere as well as bank-level encryption that never displays any of your credit card numbers during a transaction. Plus, you can lock it down should someone steal the Stratos card. One thing consumers may not be comfortable with is the nearly $100 annual subscription that doesn’t offer anything like points or miles in return. However, there is the advantage that the app that accompanies it comes with intuitive thinking as it learns your spending habits and then offers reminders related to the cards you have stored that do earn miles and points. Other features are being developed and added in the near future, including fingerprint authentication.
  5. Coin: Building on the idea of the digital wallet, Coin allows you to swipe your credit, debit, or rewards card through an attachment to your smartphone and then snap a picture of the front and back to store it. You can then use Coin’s digital display when you want to buy something. Merchants then just swipe coin like they would with a regular card, but you don’t have to carry all those cards now. With the growing surge in digital wallets, these may become mainstream but there are still many issues to still work out. For example, if your smartphone dies, it will not work and locks up until it can be re-activated. Credit card companies and other types of cards will need to be onboard for it to be worthwhile to consumers because they will not want to use it if they can’t store all their cards on it. This all-or-nothing proposition will mean companies like Coin need to be sure that they can form enough strategic partnerships to make this new way to pay work.

All of these new types of credit card payment options are exciting and will definitely change how we pay as well as increase the confidence level we feel as consumers. While those who commit fraud will instantly go to work on trying to break this new technology, the advancements in credit card options provides greater opportunity for online and offline merchants and companies. They can now complete more transactions and help consumers change their perspective on this type of payment method.


I'm Chalmers and I'm the Co-Founder and CTO of

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