ArchiveApril 2, 2006

the future of credit cards


Very soon, credit card companies and game makers will reward their customers who spend money in the real world using private label “rewards” credit cards. They will use gifts of virtual currency such as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft gold and Second Life’s Linden dollars.

Phillip Torrone of MAKE Magazine with an interesting text on how real-world currency and in-game currency will merge more and more. His piece focuses on credit cards – which makes sense, given that they’re the weapon of choice to pay electronically via PayPal, Amazon, Second Life and all.

Also, Phillip assumes that credit cards will be issued in a more and more personalized way:

art of a future private label credit card will likely be card personalization. With low(er) cost one-off printing and credit card companies looking to make their offerings more valuable, getting a credit card with your avatar on it is worth a lot.

As with mobile phone ringtones, you can think about this kind of personalization what you want (personally, I don’t think I’m a big fan of either one), but the idea is there to stay, and it’s gonna be there big-time. What I’m still wondering about is: How is fraud dealt with if i t happens in-game, if it influences real, hard cash out there?

[via Joi Ito]