Mastercard Is Removing the Magnetic Stripe From Credit and Debit Cards

The decision to remove the magnetic stripe has been governed by usage. Based on Mastercard’s figures, the stripe won’t be required on cards “in most markets” by 2024. The plan is to remove the stripe from all Mastercard debit and credit cards by 2033, by which point nobody should be relying on swiping a card to pay in any market.

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The only place I can remember a card being swiped in the last 5 years is in the US, but the implementation of newer merchant payment systems should quickly take care of it


Mastercard first announced this last summer.

This link also contains a concept design of how they expect cards to look with the magstripe or signature strip.

Oops :man_facepalming: Obviously both me and PC Mag are a bit slow in the news on this one :roll_eyes:

Actually… it’s just me!! The article is even dated August 2021. I just saw it in my news feed this morning and thought I’d share. Teaches me for not reading…

What’s interesting is that Visa have so far been silent on the topic!

That’ll be same Visa that has been shoving adverts out lately on radio about their cards, undoubtedly because recently, a few of the banks have swapped over to Mastercard :face_with_monocle:

I wonder how Tesco will handle this - currently if you want to use one of their Mastercard credit cards as a Clubcard there are some applications where it still has to be swiped - releasing a Scan-as-you-Shop handset is the first that jumps to mind.

Or will a mag-stripe for non-payment purposes still be alright?

I don’t think it will, since Mastercard approve card designs.

They will probably switch to barcode/QR-code scanning to release a handset, as Waitrose already have done. Either that or a contactless implementation where you wave a Clubcard/credit card over a designated sensor.

They’ll be able to retrofit something like that so it won’t be too difficult.

They’ve used barcodes since the late-90s/early-00s (1D ones originally and more recently 2D QR type ones), they’ve never printed them on their payment cards tho - nor their Colleague discount ones (presumably because it’d be rather easy to share a non-changing scannable code).

Discount cards will likely use barcodes or, possibly, a chip. They could also stick with magstripe as they wouldn’t be Mastercard or Visa cards?

They have - Tesco Bank current accounts had a Clubcard barcode on the back of the debit card.

Colleague Clubcards have mag stripe and NFC. I didn’t mean to imply that would need to change, I was just saying that the reason they don’t use barcodes is to minimise the potential for the card to be shared.

No they didn’t. They had the Clubcard number printed on the back, same as their credit cards do now (they used to be embossed on the front) - but the only way of using them as a Clubcard is to tap them or swipe them (or maybe get the cashier to key the number in?).

The only payment card I can think of which had a barcode was the Costco Amex card (RIP).

It was printed along with a barcode, although I don’t think the barcode worked once Clubcards became contactless instead. I assume it worked in the past?

They probably would have changed it to be integrated into the contactless like in the Tesco Clubcard Pay+ card if they hadn’t decided to discontinue the account - that’s probably the future method planned for their credit cards, which I imagine they’d quietly upgrade.

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I wasn’t going to say anything but Swiping left on magnetic stripes

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Unless you can prove me wrong, I can tell you Tesco Bank have never issued a Visa or Mastercard with a barcode. I’m looking at an old purple Tesco Bank debit card right now and I can tell you there is just a number, no barcode.

I have both a purple and a blue Tesco Bank debit card and both have a large barcode on the bottom right-hand corner of the rear of the card. Maybe they didn’t on older cards (mine are from right before the accounts were closed)?

I don’t want to post a picture of it on the internet, as the Clubcard number is still linked to my active Clubcard, but it is there.

If I have time, I can post a blurred obfuscated one later today.

I’d like to see this too! Not that i’m doubting you one bit, but i’ve never seen or heard this before!