New USB Credit Card Unveiled

The first credit cards hit the UK back in 1966 when Barclaycard launched their fist Blue, White and Gold Visa card. In those days it was very much a trailblazer and was only available as a Visa card. Credit card usage in the mid 1960’s was tiny compared to today but given that only one in 4 people had a bank account and only 30,000 retailers accepted the Barclaycard Visa Card it’s perhaps no surprise that early adoption rates were low.

USB Credit Card

By comparison today there are an estimated 30 million credit card users who between them have over 80 million credit cards. These cards are accepted at hundreds of thousands of retailers and an equally large and growing number of on-line shops. Its fair to say that we’re all now very, very, familiar with the shape of the credit card, a shape which has of course also been used for bank card, ATM cards and more recently gift voucher cards.

The point of this is that the credit card shape is deeply embedded not only in our psyche but it’s a shape that accommodated for in our wallets, purses, handbags, man-bags, clothing and so on. As such it’s perhaps no surprise that USB flash drives have been developed in the shape of a credit card. Early versions were around 2-3 times the thickness of a standard credit card simply because they needed to accommodate the flash memory and the flash controller chips. The latest versions of the USB credit cards are noticeable thinner and small subtle changes in how the USB connector (the piece that plugs into the USB port on a PC) is revealed make them more durable and easier to use.

USB Credit Cards

A particular favourite is the new USB Credit Card MKII, which takes full advantage of the smaller, and thinner chips modules and controllers on the market. The end result is a USB credit card that is as close as you can get to the thickness of a classic credit card.

Advances in printing technology mean these USB credit cards can also be printed with photo realistic prints across the whole surface of the card. The results are spectacular and because of this they are becoming increasingly popular with companies wanting a printed or branded USB flash drive that conveys more than just a simple brand or logo.

USB Credit Cards function in exactly the same way as a standard USB flash drive. They are available in a wide range of memory sizes starting from 256MB all the way up to 16GB. From a price perspective they are only marginally more expensive than standard USB’s.

The promotional USB market is still dominated by the more traditional designs like the Twister but these new USB credit cards look like they might give them a run for the money.

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