Frictionless credit cards

It’s worth listening to the a16z podcast to understand what I mean when I say the virtualisation of credit cards, but one point worth advancing is that it could dramatically increase the speed with which we can access credit.

With Apple Pay all your cards are stored on your phone. To load them on you either enter the digits manually or snap a picture with the phones camera. Presumably, you then put your card in a drawer, much like you did with with a CD after you’d ripped it to your hard drive.

Now imagine there is no card. You’re approved online and the card is loaded onto your phone over the air. We enter a world when getting access to a new credit card could be as easy as applying on an app in store, and having it land on your phone before you’ve managed to finish browsing. It’s Wonga without the crazy APRs.

Frictionless yes, and for many it will be a great time saver. No more physical post, picking up cards from the branch etc. But for those who aren’t the best with money it could have new cards very literally at their finger tips.

Think card comparison, approval and delivery, all in real time.

Daniel Bower

Blogging about platform regulation: algorithms, interoperability, kill zones as well as other bits and bobs. Read about my research, or read more about me.