If you’re looking for a more convenient way to pay on the go and slim down your wallet, an electronic credit card might spark your interest. But before you toss your plastic, here are a few things you should know.
They’re like normal credit cards, only tech-ier
Electronic credit cards are almost exactly the same size as regular credit cards, and they use similar magnetic stripes (depending on the card you have, some may also have EMV and NFC chips). The difference? Electronic credit cards allow you to add multiple cards onto a single device that looks and acts like a credit card. Then, when you’re ready to pay, you choose which credit card account you’d like to use.
They do more than you’d expect
You can store more than just payment cards on an electronic credit card—including loyalty cards, gym passes and gift cards. Apps also play a big role. They let you view your cards, add new ones and provide additional security options—like mobile alerts if you leave your card behind.
Acceptance isn’t quite guaranteed
Because they use magnetic stripes and chips similar to normal credit cards, they're accepted at most of the same places. But because the technology is still new and acceptance is not universal, you’ll want to carry a backup card, just in case.
Batteries are included—and required
Electronic credit cards run on batteries, which will eventually die. Some can be recharged. Other cards have to be replaced about every 2 years when the battery is used up.
Like all technology, they’re evolving
Adding multiple cards onto one is a convenient way to declutter your wallet, but there are others—like a mobile wallet. Plus, payment technology is constantly changing, so there's the possibility for new options to pop up in the future.