Here's a card George Costanza's wallet would love.
Fifth Third Bank unveiled its combo debit and credit card on Wednesday, offering a new way for consumers to thin out the pieces of plastic they carry.
The aptly named Duo Card, which carries the MasterCard logo, allows consumers to select a credit or debit transaction by pressing the appropriate button at the checkout terminal.
Cardholders choosing the credit function will draw against a line of credit and sign to finish the purchase. For those making a debit purchase, the funds will come from their checking account, and cardholders will be required to enter their personal identification number to complete the transaction.
"Consumers today want payment cards that provide them the ability to make purchases when, where and how they want," said Tim Murphy, chief product officer, at MasterCard Worldwide.
Fifth Third is the first issuer to debut a dual functionality card. But many credit card companies are exploring ways to make it even easier for consumers to make purchases, especially as the digital age alters consumer buying habits.
Last year, Citi experimented with another dual-function type of credit card. The card had two buttons embedded in it that allowed consumers to choose to pay with rewards points or credit. Called 2G, Citi said at the time it planned to roll out the cards by late this year. We're still waiting.
And in May, Citi partnered with Google, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint to practically abolish the need for a wallet altogether. The companies introduced the Google Wallet that allows smartphones to make purchases with a Citi MasterCard or a Google prepaid card at PayPass-enabled terminals.
Would you carry a dual-functionality card? What other types of cards or virtual cards do you expect to see soon?
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