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Money Matters Blog

Monday, September 24, 2012

Customization Drives the Evolution of Credit Cards

The glory days of the old hand-operated credit card machines are gone as we now swipe our cards to make purchases.  Credit cards with raised information, once designed to prevent crooks from counterfeiting cards, are disappearing.

Many companies and financial institutions – including Community Financial Credit Union - have shifting to customizable, un-embossed cards that are easier to produce and don’t feature the raised letters and numbers.

Visa and MasterCard have also begun offering customers flat cards that are missing the classic 3-D lettering, according to a recent article from that was posted on MSNBC.

Customers have probably noticed other changes to their cards in recent years, including new aesthetics designed to make cards look more unique and difficult for thieves to recreate. The three-digit CVV code is a mainstay, but other changes such as holograms within the magnetic strip with unique logos and subtle background graphics, as well as one-of-a-kind designs, have also been added.

Finally, perhaps the biggest change the industry has seen recently is the inclusion of chips within  “smart” cards. Magnetic strips figure to be used for years to come, but cards with chips in them are being adopted due to their durability and ease of use. Customers simply wave or tap their credit card in front of a sensor, and off they go.

Smart cards aren’t quite as popular here as they are in Europe, but many Americans have used them as school or work IDs.

Community Financial Credit Union currently offers branded, smoother Visa® credit and debit cards, which are printed at each office on an as need bases.  Members walk out with their new card and can pick from several designs.

For more information on the credit union’s card services, visit or stop by one of our eight convenient locations today.  

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