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Why RFID Credit Cards Will Make Your Life Easier

What if you could simply hold your wallet up and wave it at the cashier to pay for your groceries? Sound like science fiction? Well, it's not. Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, credit cards are already on the streets.

What if you could simply hold your wallet up and wave it at the cashier to pay for your groceries? Sound like science fiction? Well, it’s not. Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, credit cards are already on the streets. In most cases, you have to actually take the card out of your wallet, but the technology exists where all you would need to do is run your wallet with the card inside a few centimeters in front of a sensor to pay for your purchase.

RFID technology is still fairly new, but it has been successful in most test markets. You may familiar with Exxon’s speed pass or American Express card’s Express Pay. These cards use the same technology as the toll tags that many drivers have on their front windshields. The electronic pass carries all the information that your regular credit card carries on its magnetic strip. But because you don’t have to swipe it through anything, you get in and out much faster.

This means one less hassle at the gas station, grocery store, or department store. And it if you are a business owner, it means you can process more customers in a shorter amount of time. When customers only have to tap a card on a reader or wave the card in front of a sensor, this dramatically reduces check out time usually spent entering PIN codes or signing electronic pads.

While there have been some concerns about security, the companies issuing the cards assure consumers that they have taken all necessary precautions. In fact, the new contactless cards could actually improve security as there are fewer people who see your card number and no risk of anyone seeing your PIN as you type it in at the check out counter. A merchant will only be able to see the last four digits of your card rather than the entire number, as well as the three-digit code on the back.

Overall, the time you spend in the check out and drive thru lines will be reduced from thirty to forty percent. This is great news for time challenged folks with places to be.

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