I received my new Visa credit card in the mail this week. In the past, I’ve been sent new cards every four or five years. This card, however, arrived in the mail just two years after the last one. In 2010, my bank had a potential security breach in terms of credit card data so they fast-tracked a new card to me. It had one of those new shiny chips on it, which was still quite new in 2010. The letter that came with the card stated it would be only good for two years as it was sort of a stop-gap card.
My new card still has the chip but it also has one new feature. It’s been embedded with magic that allows me to just wave the card at a pay terminal and my purchase will go through. There is no PIN to be entered nor any slips to sign. Visa calls this payWave. All you MasterCard readers must be chuckling because you’ve had similar magic for almost five years, that’s called PayPass. payWave is only valid for purchases $50 and under. This is a security measure as anyone could steal my credit card and pay for things without verifying their identity.
I won’t get a new card until 2016 which is a bit disappointing. The graphical design of my card hasn’t changed much since 2000 and it looks really boring. The background image of a pile of twoonies is very plain and evokes an image of a panhandler’s credit card. That’s right, I essentially have good enough credit to get a card that I could pay off using spare change.