Could high-tech credit cards boost real-time rewards usage?


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Want to use rewards points right at the register when you swipe your credit card? According to a recent New York Times article about a new credit card test from Citibank, the ability to do just that is right around the corner.

The Citibank card, according to the article, goes beyond the traditional black strip, with two buttons and tiny lights and a battery — which allow customers to choose to pay with rewards points or with credit.

This type of functionality has certainly been a long time coming, though there are problems that remain, such as the fact that there is no one technological standard for these kinds of tools — so it’s possible that not all phones and merchants will ever be able to accept it. In addition, cards themselves may eventually become obsolete — after all, companies have been working hard to add payment and rewards functionality to mobile phones, often touted as the next big thing in this realm.

Further, it remains to be seen what Citibank might decide in terms of the redemption equation and whether this increases ROI or not.

Still, it can’t be denied that this option may resonate well with consumers who like the idea of paying for goods with rewards points in real-time and might consider it a strong value proposition for such a card.

What do you think? Is this a card scenario that will stand the test of time or just a technological flash in the pan?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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