5 banking predictions that missed the mark

The demise of the credit card
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As we entered the 21st century and realized that our flying car dreams weren't going to come true, that didn't stop experts from predicting even bigger technological breakthroughs, especially in banking.

"It is now 2009," wrote futurist Ray Kurzweil in a 1999 look into the future. "People typically have at least a dozen computers on and around their bodies, which are networked using body LANs (local area networks). These computers provide communication facilities similar to cellular phones, pagers and Web surfers; monitor body functions; provide automated identity (to conduct financial transactions and allow entry into secure areas), ... and perform a variety of other services."

We're still a ways off from that, but to Kurzweil's credit, today's smart cards do offer some of that functionality. Today, cards can be programmed with banking and insurance information, used to store loyalty program data and decode complex signals from TV satellites.




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