Tech & The Web

New Credit Cards Make Me Feel Old

Have you noticed what new credit cards look like these days? They’ve made a small design change that reminds me of how old I actually am!

I received a couple of new credit cards within the past couple of weeks. I’ve noticed something very interesting with these new cards: the embossed numbers are gone.

One of the cards has the card number printed on the front along with my name.

The other has all of that printed on the back of the card. The front has the bank logo but nothing else on the front. At first, I thought it was a mistake!

My first job was working as a cashier at a Kmart store. Back then, when a customer paid by credit card, we put the card into a device called a credit card imprinter.

A story on business.com has this sobering fact:

For starters, if you are less than 20 years old, chances are pretty good that you have never even seen a credit card imprinting machine, and chances are also pretty good that you probably never will (except for maybe at the random antique shop or local flea market).

Ouch.

With a credit card imprinter, we’d lay the card into an indention on a printing plate. On top of the card, we place a sales slip with two or three layers of carbon. We’d slide a block across the credit card and it would imprint the credit card number across the sales slip. The customer would then have to sign for the purchase and we’d send the little slip off to the bank and get the money.

By 2015, long after scammers had taken advantage of the magnetic strip technology on credit cards, newer cards had chips that made it harder for scammers and hackers to create dummy cards and charge up a fortune.

Now that we have chips, apparently we no longer have a need for credit card imprinters. So those new credit cards no longer need raised type.

Ain’t technology grand?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.