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MasterCard or MasterChip?

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I’ve said for years that MasterCard has the wrong name. Cards are so last century. This century is all about the chip, so MasterCard should be renamed MasterChip. For the first time the other day, I found a banker who agrees with me. Reuters reports that Brazil's central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said he believes credit cards will cease to exist soon due to the growth of the open finance system.

He then goes on, wrongly, to talk about the mobile phone taking over as the payment mechanism. It will not be the mobile telephone. It will be the chip inside.

Chips inside everything, in fact. Chips will not just be in mobile telephones, but will be in cars, houses, televisions, refrigerators, gates, clothes, jewellery … wherever you can place a chip. And wherever you stick a chip, you can trade, transact and talk.

Chips are everywhere, and will soon be more than everywhere. You probably already have three or four chips in your house, but imagine when you have thirty or forty. Every chip has intelligence inside, and so every chip can be your transaction engine.

This truly delegated intelligence will make our world one where no-one decides anything. You chip does it for you. You just sit back and enjoy.

The world becomes totally connected and everything can work for you to make your life easier. You just sit back and enjoy.

Imagine the day when you turn to a speaker and say book me a holiday. Oh, it’s here already …

The reality is that banking, finance and payments has moved from being a physical thing to a virtual thing, and our dinosaurs of the system still hold with the idea of paper and plastic. Millennials and, more importantly, GenZ do not care. They have moved to the networked system.

This is why so many of the younger generations see cryptocurrencies as cool. After all, if the financial system has melted into the network, why wouldn’t you see a digital currency as just as rational and real as a fiat currency?

What is real and what is not? These are the questions that the network raises and challenges the old school guard. Borders don’t exist; countries don’t exist; money doesn’t exist; time doesn’t exist. These are all things that humans invented. These are all things that governments reinforce to maintain order. As the networked world takes over, these are all things that the new world order challenges.

The internet of things is something that is discussed as a blasé thing, but it’s more than just a thing. As we network everything, we see the new world is ordered a different way. My money is a fiction, my time is a fiction, my country is fiction and my company is a fiction. When you realise the world works this way, you see it in a very different way.

Sure, of course, if I break the rules, I get jailed. But how do you jail someone who isn’t real, who lives on the network and who cannot be tracked or traced by traditional methods?

Oh, welcome to Earth 4.0.

Meantime, MasterCard? Come on, you need to regenerate and be a MasterChip!

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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