In France, for example, credit card fraud fell a massive 80 per cent following its introduction. But a small group of credit card makers are determined to change the way Americans spend their cash.

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

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

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

But that kind of technology is at least five years away, so the credit card companies are hoping to continue playing a part in the lives of the 1.7billion people worldwide who have credit cards.

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They will also be able to display your balance, while also doubling as a reward card, it is promised. As companies try to tackle rising fraud, the card will only display personal information after a security code has been entered. Investor Forrest Parry could not get the strip to stick to the back of the card without damaging the data.

A few years ago, Europe moved to chip-enabled cards allowing the user to input a pin number to pay for goods. The first magnetic strip, or stripe, was invented by IBM in 1960 for the U. The story goes, he went home one night with several plastic cards and several magnetic strips.

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