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Credit cards have become an increasingly integral part of our financial system over the last century. Types of credit cards and consumer credit options have continued to flourish around the world, and while many credit card companies have been criticized for misleading consumers and encouraging them to take on debt, new credit card innovations mean constant changes in the financial market.
For example, if you’re one of the millions of people who hate accumulating loose change in your pocket or wallet every day, a new payment system designed by Visa could change your life. Under the new shake-and-pay system, customers would have to swipe a credit card in front of an electronic reader to make small payments, but would not actually have to remove the card from their wallets. However, the system would be limited to monetary transactions totaling less than £10.
Visa CFOs estimate that demand for this ‘shake and pay’ system will expand in the future, thereby promoting more efficient payments with little cash and spurring a move away from loose change. Visa Europe spokeswoman Sandra Alzetta stated:
“With more than 75 per cent of all cash payments being less bba than £10, the introduction of contactless payments will play a significant role in encouraging the use of cards rather than cash for low-value transactions.”
Shake-and-pay readers are expected to be introduced in London in late 2007 and then spread throughout the UK. In fact, people living in London will be more familiar with the technology as it is already widely used for Oyster cards.
However, while credit card innovations are constantly progressing, so are credit card fraud methods. In 2005, studies by the British Bankers Association (BBA) showed that credit card fraud amounted to over £439 million, although this figure was actually 13 per cent lower than the previous year. As a result, consumers in Great Britain are encouraged to take full responsibility for combating this threatening threat by being extremely careful with their credit cards and their credit card practices.
However, there are many tips you can follow to successfully avoid credit card fraud: For example, make sure you don’t write down personal financial details like PIN numbers or sensitive information. Also, make sure that when you’re making a financial transaction, you don’t lose sight of your card or card details.
There are a variety of sources consumers can turn to for advice when choosing a credit card; financial comparison sites, for example, allow you to view a selection of credit card offers before making a decision. After all, if you use your credit card wisely and take steps to ensure you don’t fall victim to credit card fraud, you’re less likely to become a statistic.