Today Chase sent me an email about some suspicious transactions on one of my credit cards. After a quick 15 min phone call, we determined that the transactions were fraudulent, so Chase canceled my card. They told me a new one would arrive in the mail in a week or so.
Now the fun part. The agent told me that Apple Pay would update immediately with the new card number. While I don’t have a new physical credit card yet, I can use my iPhone to pay for transactions with the new card. In essence, I downloaded a credit card. This feels like the future.
In a way, it reminds me of iTunes. You used to go buy a CD and then rip it to your computer with iTunes. Now you skip the physical media and download an album straight onto your computer over the internet. This is happening to credit cards. In the not so distant future, you will simply download a credit card much in the same way you download music. You will no longer need to scan your card into your phone. Eventually you won't even need the physical card.
Apple Pay will have to become more ubiquitous for this vision of the future to transpire, but look. It’s 2015, and I just downloaded a credit card.