Credit Card Technology

Credit card innovations that have revolutionised the way we pay on plastic

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From making purchases and paying bills to keeping your credit card safe, these are the credit card innovations that have changed the way we pay on plastic.


generic credit cards

What do the numbers on a credit card mean?

What is a CVV number?

On all cards, the CVV number (Card Verification Value) is the three-digit (Visa and Mastercard) or four-digit (for American Express) security number that is usually on the back of your card. However, American Express usually places the CVV on the front of the card.

The difference between magnetic stripe, chip and PIN-protected cards

credit card magnetic stripe
Magnetic stripe

The stripe on the back of your credit card is a magnetic stripe (the magstripe). Made up of iron-based magnetic particles, the acquirer checks the magstripe for the card’s merchant ID, valid card number, expiration date, credit card limit and card usage. Most EFTPOS terminals accept chip payments, so the magnetic stripe is usually just included for overseas purchases.

credit card chip
Chip and PIN

As well as storing your card information, the chip uses cryptography to protect your secure data when communicating with the card reader. These payments also require a four-digit PIN for authorisation, making them a more secure option than the magstripe.

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Contactless payments

NFC (Near Field Communication)

Near Field Communication refers to the technology that allows us to use our smartphones for contactless payments. Once the NFC chip in your smartphone is activated by another chip (such as the contactless terminal), data can be transferred between the two devices when held a few centimetres away from each other.

tap and goTap and go

All new credit cards are now equipped with NFC contactless payment technology (such as Visa’s payWave and Mastercard PayPass). Hold your card within 4cm of a PayPass or PayWave terminal, and you can approve payments of $100 or less without entering your PIN.

Using NFC technology, every transaction generates a unique code that prevents you from being incorrectly billed and encryption data protects your finances from fraudulent activity. All new credit cards come with credit card technology and 59% of Aussies use it to make purchases.


mobile contactless paymentMobile contactless payments

Mobile contactless payments use the NFC chip that is in your mobile to make payments at contactless payments. In Australia, you can use Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay to make mobile payments in the same way you would usually tap and go.

Rather than storing the information on your phone, a Device Account Number is assigned to your phone, encrypted and stored in the Secure Element (a dedicated chip in your device). When you make a purchase, this Device Account Number as well as a transaction-specific dynamic security code will approve the payment.


cardless cash withdrawal at atm

Cardless cash

You can now withdraw funds from your credit or debit account without your card. Referred to as cardless cash, you usually need to use the relevant mobile banking app, select the chosen account and enter how much you want to withdraw. The app will then generate a cash code that you can use at the ATM to withdraw cash.

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Apps and online account management

You can now manage your entire credit card or debit card account online. You can use credit card bank apps and online accounts to:

  • Transfer money.
  • Make contactless payments.
  • Withdraw with cardless cash.
  • Lock and block your card.
  • View your balance and transaction history.
google play

Google Play payment methods

As well as online banking with your bank, you can set up automatic credit card repayments through your Google Play account. You just need to go to Payment methods, select "add a credit or debit card" and fill in your information to make purchases or schedule automatic payments.

International innovations

Combine your payments

plastic cardCurrently only available in the US, products such as the Plastic card are an example of a smartcard that can be used to combine all of your accounts (from debits cards, credit cards, gift cards and more) on the one card. Equipped with a touch screen on the card, you enter a security screen and then swipe left or right to select the card you want to use. You just use the Plastic app to enter the details of the cards you’d like to use. So on the one card, you could redeem a gift voucher, make a big ticket purchase on your credit card and withdraw cash from an ATM with your debit card.

If you lose the card, you can use the app to lock it and wipe your card and then resync it if you find the card again.


Put a ring on it with the Visa-powered payment ring

Visa FRID Payment RingDuring the 2016 Rio olympics, US athletes were gifted with a variety of Visa-powered wearables including the sweat and water-resistant Swatch Bellamy wearable watch and a Visa-based payment ring to make contactless payments. These wearables used NFC technology to make payments in the same way your PayWave-enabled card or mobile would.

The Visa-based payment rings are no longer limited to medal winners, though. For AUD$53, anyone can now pre-order an NFC ring that lets you tap and pay at any Visa paywave terminal in the US. As with an Apple Watch, you won’t need your phone to make the payment. Instead, the device uses anonymising tokens to make the payments itself. With Australia leading the charge in contactless card payments, these technologies are sure to make their way down under before we know it.

Compare current credit offers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Annual fee Balance transfer rate
Citi Rewards Card
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 30 months
30-Month Balance Transfer & Annual Fee Discount
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Balance Transfer Offer & 100,000 Bonus Points
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months (with a one-time 1% BT fee).
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$450
100,000 bonus Qantas Points & $200 Statement Credit
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back on your card when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points (100k when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months). Plus, a reduced first year annual fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer & $200 Cashback
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 24 months and a $200 cashback offer.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$45
13.99% p.a.
0% Interest Rate & $150 Woolworths Gift Card Offer
Get 0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months and a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Ends 31 Jan 2021.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$425
20.24% p.a.
120,000 Bonus Points & $200 back
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Enjoy a 26-month balance transfer offer, a first-year annual fee waiver and complimentary travel insurance.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
10.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, a 10.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 6 months
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$100 off a Coles Supermarket Shop & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Enjoy $100 off a Coles Supermarket, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies). Ends 31 Jan 2021.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas – Existing Customer Offer
20.49% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$50 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
Westpac customers only: Get 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, $50 first-year annual fee.
Latitude Gem Visa
24.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% Purchase Rate Offer
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases over $250 for 6 months, optional shopper's protection insurance and the convenience of Samsung Pay.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 8.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$45
3.99% p.a. for 6 months
3.99% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 3.99% interest for 6 months on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$249
80,000 Bonus Points and $200 Statement Credit
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, $200 back and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
20.49% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
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