London: Believe it or not but very soon your credit cards will talk to you and display your balance as well.

Dynamics Inc is developing such cards which will have wafer- thin microprocessors and would run on batteries that can last up to three years.

However, the credit cards will only display personal information after a security code is entered.

Meanwhile, Citibank has released the new 2G card, which has a programmable magnetic strip and buttons on the front in which users can choose it to use it as a credit card or just to spend reward points.

A trial is currently going on and, if successful, it could roll out across the country.

Even Mastercard has just released a card that has a small LCD screen which displays a one-time code which the customer can use to make an online purchase. It means even if someone's credit card details are stolen, they will be useless to buy anything with without the one-off code.

Jeff Mullen,CEO of Dynamics Inc, explained that the end of the magnetic strip has been mooted for years, but is still the dominant payment system in the world.

"Even in Japan, where the infrastructure is in place and phones (which can make payments) have been distributed for seven years, the volume of phone payments is significantly less than one per cent share of transactions.

Banks, phone providers, Google and Apple, are also working on mobile payment systems which rely on short-range wireless technology that allows electronic devices to transmit encrypted data.

"Although mobile payments are the future, you're not going to move all that overnight to magical phones. So these are step innovations, rather than leap innovations," Todd Ablowitz, President of Double Diamond Group was quoted by a newspaper as saying.

(Agencies)