Apple Card to lose its magnetic stripe as Mastercard opts for Apple Pay and contactless future

By José Adorno

August 17, 2021

Today’s chip cards are powered by microprocessors that are much more capable and secure, and many are also embedded with tiny antennae that enable contactless transactions. Biometric cards, which combine fingerprints with chips to verify a cardholder’s identity, offer another layer of security.

According to Mastercard, newly issued credit and debit cards will not be required to have a stripe starting in 2024 in Europe, 2027 in the US, and by 2033, no Mastercard cards will have magnetic stripes.

“It’s time to fully embrace these best-in-class capabilities, which ensure consumers can pay simply, swiftly, and with peace of mind,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of Mastercard’s Cyber & Intelligence business. “What’s best for consumers is what’s best for everyone in the ecosystem.”

With this decision from the company, Apple Card could receive this upgrade starting in 2027. As Apple aims to offer a minimalist card with the most security available, opting out from the magnetic stripes as soon as possible sounds very reasonable.

When you pay using Apple’s own payment system, it generates a randomized new card so no one can use your real credit card information to make a purchase without your knowledge.

Although Apple Card offers a better interface than real benefits, as its cashback features are very limited, changing to a stripless card will further reduce the chances of fraud. A Mastercard survey also shows that Americans are changing their payment patterns:

More than half of Americans prefer using a chip card payment at a terminal over any other payment method, with security being the driving factor… That was followed by contactless payments — with a card or a digital wallet. Only 11% said they preferred to swipe, and that drops to 9% when looking at cardholders with experience using contactless payments. And in a July study by Phoenix, 81% of American cardholders surveyed reported they would be comfortable with a card that does not have the magnetic stripe, and 92% would increase or keep usage of their cards the same if the magnetic stripe was no longer on the card.