These futuristic cards stole the show at the DEMO startup conference last month in Silicon Valley. The cards have embedded buttons and graphic displays, yet theyâ€™re as thin and flexible as a normal credit card.
Citiâ€™s version of the card will allow users to select between two buttons on the card at the register. One button will let the user pay with reward points; the other button lets them pay with credit. Cardholders can pay with rewards points anywhere their Citi credit card is accepted.
The cards will be called 2G (as in â€œsecond generation,â€ a naming convention similar to that of other mobile gadgets); each one will contain a chip and a battery with about four years of life.
Citiâ€™s employees have been testing 2G cards since May, according to reports, and the bank plans to roll the cards out to its customer base in mid- to late 2011. Some cardholders will be selected to start using 2G cards now.
Citiâ€™s Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard and its PremierPass Elite are both rewards-focused cards; theyâ€™ll be the first to be offered as 2G cards.
Jeff Mullen is CEO of Dynamics, Inc., the company behind the cards. He told The New York Times that Citiâ€™s 2G cards were mere baby steps, saying, â€œWe are just scratching the surface with what these cards can do with these initial productsâ€¦ We are trying to be the innovation arm of an industry that has never had one.â€
- Citibank’s multifunction credit card design misses the point (shortformblog.com)