Dynamics, Inc. and Citi introduced a high-tech credit card today that allows shoppers to use their in-store rewards points with the press of a button.
The “Redemption” payment device allows consumers to choose between two options when they swipe their card: redeem their in-store rewards, or just use it as a regular credit card. The choice is made by simply pushing one of two buttons on the front of the card, and built-in lights indicate which option has been chosen. The card can be used at any of the million merchants worldwide where credit cards are swiped.
A limited number of Citi (Stock Quote: C) credit card customers got their first taste of Redemption earlier this year in a small test program that began in May. That test is expanding next month with a pilot program involving the two new Citi cards using the technology, the Citi Premier Pass 2G and the Dividend 2G. By pressing the rewards button on these cards, cardholders can request to redeem ThankYou Points or cash rewards at the point of sale.
Citi is the only issuer to offer a card using the technology, and Dynamics CEO Jeff Mullen declined comment on whether other issuers are also testing similar cards. While Citi’s pilot program is invitation-only for now, the company indicated in a release that the cards could see larger release in 2011 pending user feedback.
Redemption is not Dynamics’ only foray into high-tech payment cards. Its MultiAccount cards would offer consumers the ability to combine two payment accounts on a single card, and use similar buttons to choose between them. And its Hidden cards require users to enter a password to activate the card and display the full card number. The cards are not currently available for consumer use, however, and Mullen did not indicate whether credit card issuers are testing the devices.