MasterCard To Discontinue Magnetic Stripes By 2024-2033

MasterCard has announced that newly issued credit and debit cards running on the MasterCard payment network will not have magnetic stripes starting in 2024. The disclaimer is that this applies to most markets and that by 2033 all markets will no longer offer the magnetic stripe. The rollout will be something like this:

  • 2024: No longer offered in the European market
  • 2027: No longer offered in the US market
  • 2029: No longer offered worldwide (excluding prepaids)

The terms of the announcement are a little unclear, with MasterCard stating that card issuers won’t be required to offer a magnetic stripe after the above dates (assuming they can still do this as an option). The transition from magnetic stripes to EMV chips has been occurring for some time. In 2015 there was a liability shift in the United States that meant merchants accepting magnetic stripe over chip were liable for fraudulent transactions rather than the payment network/card issuer being liable for those transactions.


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Kelvin (@guest_1243002)
August 23, 2021 01:28

Card clash incoming, I guess. Wonder if banks would still honor requests for chip only cards once this goes into effect in the far far future?

Fathiss (@guest_1242063)
August 20, 2021 07:02

I wonder if this will apply to MC gift cards as well.

Vy (@guest_1242244)
August 20, 2021 14:10

I wonder if you’ve bothered to read any of the many other comments about this.

Nick (@guest_1241908)
August 19, 2021 20:07

I’m going to predict that the US market will probably continue to have the mag stripe for another century due to how stubborn some consumers are. I remember when some issuers offered a chipless card option, and how some people still prefer plastic embossed cards over flat laser printed designs. Hopefully it’ll just be an option at some point. I hope Citi revisits that unique Prestige card design And we see issuers being very creative with designs.

Servo (@guest_1242846)
August 22, 2021 14:23

MC nor Visa really care about stubborn consumers – if they don’t have the option, the consumers will adapt. Any potential reason for delay would be the technology changes needed to eliminate or invalidate swipes. I work in the industry and if you think things like SABRE on the travel side are bad, you should look at bank and issuer core software.

As for the different design types, the industry is going to need to cut costs anywhere and everywhere – credit unions especially because while they’re not taxed as much as banks, they are much more limited in what they’re able to do to generate revenue. If embossed cards cost more, even charging more for people who want those might cost more to maintain than it’d be worth in the future.

This is all the issue when mortgage rates and thus loan yields have been next to nothing since the 2008 downturn.

BroOnTravel (@guest_1243088)
August 23, 2021 11:29

Laser printed designs don’t work in all locations. I tried to use a Citi Prestige at a Hertz in Chilean Patagonia and it was a non-starter because they couldn’t take an imprint. Why bother with trivial design tweaks if they only cause problems

NoFi (@guest_1241892)
August 19, 2021 19:34

While chips often do work while travelling, there are some instances where chip doesn’t work overseas. Will be interesting how this plays out

qmc (@guest_1241912)
August 19, 2021 20:13

yea… a lot of those no-chip places are NFC-only.

G (@guest_1241815)
August 19, 2021 17:31

There is one store that I go to that for some reason always has trouble reading my card when I insert it for chip reader, so they end up having me swipe it. Also all the MasterCard gift cards only have the stipe. That being said, I am not really sure that I understand how in-store fraud exploiting the magnetic stripe is the biggest issue that they are facing right now compared to on-line fraud. Pretty sure that if you have somebody’s credit card info that doing a fraudulent online purchase takes little effort from criminals compared to going into a store with security cameras all over the place and trying to use a fake card where you replicated the stripe. I am not in the fraud prevention industry so I could be wrong, but it seems like the move to eliminate the stripe may be more grounded in saving them money on producing the cards/card readers than reducing fraud itself. I do not blame them, though, no need for the stripe if it is outdated technology.

Bill M
Bill M (@guest_1241695)
August 19, 2021 14:42

Let’s be clear – VISA does NOT lose any money from fraud, in fact they actually make money because they still collect their transaction fees on fraudulent transactions. All of the loss is taken by the bank/credit union that issues the card. Even with the shift to EMV cards, very little fraud losses flow to the merchant. Most issuers will auth a mag stripe transaction even if the card is a chip card because they fear denying too many good transactions (banks hate the idea that people will just pull out competitor’s card if they get denied). As soon as the issuer auths the swipe transaction the liability flows right back to them and away from the merchant. That’s why you see many merchants tell customers to go ahead and just swipe it if they are having a problem getting the chip transaction to go thru. Criminals know this and will use fake cards with chips that don’t work and then just go to the swipe (they can easily encode mag stripes) to get the transaction approved. VISA/MC are near-monopolies and control most of the rules that banks/credit unions must follow yet they suffer NONE of the fraud losses. They care more about transactions being approved than about fraud despite what they say publicly. Getting rid is mag stripes will help reduce some, but not all, fraud but it will interesting to see if the industry can really get it done that quickly.

Bob (@guest_1241797)
August 19, 2021 16:58

“very little fraud losses flow to the merchant”

-Paypal sellers beg to differ…..
-As well as the chargeback fees paid to the payment processor for most merchant accounts.

86 (@guest_1241845)
August 19, 2021 18:17

“very little fraud losses flow to the merchant.”

You sure about that?

Jason (@guest_1241948)
August 19, 2021 21:26

“very little fraud losses flow to the merchant.”

What’s it like having no idea what you’re talking about?

Chris (@guest_1241688)
August 19, 2021 14:27

In similar news, corporations have announced that technology will improve one way or another within the next 10 years.

Guy who buys stuff
Guy who buys stuff (@guest_1241678)
August 19, 2021 14:16

Pretty sure a meteor is gonna get us before 2027.

Dylan (@guest_1241701)
August 19, 2021 14:49

At the rate the world seems to be devolving I don’t even know if we’ll be around in 2027…

Mike D
Mike D (@guest_1241782)
August 19, 2021 16:35

World poverty has decreased significantly in the past 20 years.

Aaroj (@guest_1242112)
August 20, 2021 09:59

wow, good thing that’s the only important metric!

BroOnTravel (@guest_1243089)
August 23, 2021 11:31

And soared in the last 20 months.

Vaiva (@guest_1241672)
August 19, 2021 14:09

Maybe by 2027, issuers other than Barclay will finally start issuing chip-and-PIN en masse instead of outdated chip-and-signature cards, which are both less secure and unusable at many self-service terminals.

Meanwhile, people at my local supermarket are still paying by check and cash.

PT (@guest_1241920)
August 19, 2021 20:26

My local grocery store stopped accepting checks about 5 years ago.

Jeff H
Jeff H (@guest_1241664)
August 19, 2021 13:54

Not sure how this will fly with merchants who are forced to change CC readers. Total nightmare for some.

DT (@guest_1241752)
August 19, 2021 15:46

change is change. They don’t comply they get screwed

b (@guest_1241835)
August 19, 2021 18:07

It obsoletes a lot of point of sale machines such as gas pumps and vending machines. Forcing change doesn’t always go well and often plans get delayed. Just look at Real ID and TSA’s annual postponement.

PT (@guest_1241923)
August 19, 2021 20:33

First, there have been mandates to go chip on merchant terminals for years, so the stripe removal wont affect terminals many years from now.

Chip terminals already were required several years ago for general merchants (and most enabled chip in 2017). Most enabled contactless in 2019. Gas stations got a big extension to 2021, and most still seem to be swipe though it is changing slowly.

Also, a normal lifecycle for a merchant terminal is 7 years.