Visa International Inc. is experimenting with credit cards that include a small display screen where customers could view recent transactions, bank balances or local currency exchange rates, said Deborah Arnold, Visa’s vice president of global consumer strategies.
About 10 percent of Visa’s 1.2 billion credit and debit cards in use worldwide already have a computer chip built into them, and that proportion is growing rapidly, Arnold said. The chip can store information that could be displayed on a small screen running across the top of a card, in a position similar to the magnetic strip on the back of most cards today.
Visa expects to have produced working prototypes of the devices in about a year’s time, Arnold said, although with security and other technology issues still to be ironed out, it’s likely to be a few years before such cards become widely available. In addition, the LCD-like screens being used in early designs are too fragile for everyday use, Arnold said in an interview.