Phone, Keys, Wallet?
When most people leave the house, they habitually pat their pockets to double check for their phone, keys, and wallet. This order might not be random. Of these three, your credit cards are typically the least important, since they are so easy to cancel and replace. Or, rather, were.
Thanks to the ongoing chip shortage, it can now take up to eight weeks to get a replacement debit or credit card.
Chips are a staple in modern credit and debit cards – and not just because it’s more convenient to tap than swipe. Chips store a user’s account number and ID information to enhance the card’s security. But the chip shortage and resulting demand across industries means you shouldn’t expect a replacement card anytime soon.
Who Needs Cards?
In the past few years, debit card technology has gone from “swipe” to “insert” to “tap” in what feels like record time. But despite all this advancement, the US is actually behind other countries when it comes to payment technology.
In most other developed countries, many consumers rely on their phones to pay. In 2022, 45% of Chinese adults used mobile payments, followed by 35% of Indian adults. Meanwhile, just 6% of American adults reported using their phone to buy things.
Although services like Apple Pay (AAPL) are now a staple in US stores, Americans have been slow to adopt digital wallets. But this may be starting to change.
During the pandemic, mobile payments began to gain popularity as a more hygienic and speedier way to checkout. On top of that, mobile wallets eliminate the need to carry around a physical collection of plastic cards. With the chip shortage and delay on replacement cards, the trend toward mobile payments could continue to gain steam.
Of course, no one will force you to use mobile payments. If you’re not ready to part with your plastic, you can still get a new card – as long as you’re willing to wait for a couple months.
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