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Mastercard says farewell to the Magnetic Strip

Ryan Evans
Ryan Evans

Something I am sure everyone will be familiar with growing up, is wondering what on earth that horrific black strip on the back of your debit/credit card was, and why it was there.  Little did we know that it's origin came around thanks to a man who was figuring out how to attach a magnetic strip full of information onto the back of a card and his wife who, while ironing, told him to try using the iron!

While an amazing start, and very futuristic at the time, over the years many people have, quite rightly, asked 'why do we still have it?'.  It is less safe, and while a lot of challenger banks allow you to turn off magentic strip payments, some of the largest banks out there still allow you to pay that way.  It's not very common anymore here in the EU/UK zone, but it's still fairly common in the US.

Here at VitraCash, we're elated to hear that it's being removed.  A lot of us have always felt that it was an eyesore.

Mastercard have announced 2033 for the 'turning off' of the magnetic strip.  This is to allow retailers who still use the magnetic strip payment method to change over.  However, card issuers and banks may start offering stripless cards from 2024.

As our vision for the VitraCard is for it to be accepted everywhere; we will not immediately be issuing cards without the strip.  We are giving ourselves a 'go live' for the stripless card between 2025 and 2027.

It's on our roadmap and we're looking forward to being able to issue our first one to a very lucky customer in a few years!

Ryan Evans

General Manager, HR, Compliance Officer