Mastercard will start phasing out magnetic strips on its debit and credit cards in 2024, and it expects the process to be complete by 2033, according to a release from the company on Aug. 12. Mastercard says it will shift to biometric cards, combining fingerprint and chip technology to verify a cardholder's identity.
US banks will no longer be required to issue cards with a magnetic strip by 2027, and by 2029, no newly issued cards will have the magnetic strip.
"It's time to fully embrace these best-in-class capabilities, which ensure consumers can pay simply, swiftly and with peace of mind," Ajay Bhalla, president of Mastercard's cyber and intelligence business, said in the release. "What's best for consumers is what's best for everyone in the ecosystem."
Magnetic strips were introduced in the 1960s and allowed banks to encode a user's bank information onto the magnetic tape laminated on the back of the card. Opting for biometrics adds another layer of security, according to Mastercard.