Get ready for credit card 2.0.
Citibank (C) is about to begin testing a card with two buttons and lights to let users choose whether they want to pay with rewards points or credits, The New York Times said.
Other issuers are giving their cards makeovers as well. Some cards could double as credit and debit cards, or provide additional security measures. One card shows a portion of the account number only when the user enters a PIN.
Credit card technology is centered on the magnetic strip, which was invented in the 1950s. In Europe, issuers now put out credit cards with a magnetic chip and the cards require a PIN.
Still, credit cards may not have much of a future. New technologies are working to develop payment systems based around mobile phones.
In the meantime, issuers are working on cards that could contain four-year batteries and lots of buttons.
"It's a big deal," said Megan Bramlette, director of research for the Auriemma Consulting Group. "If once a month a consumer can fill up their gas tank for free, and they don't have to do anything except push a button before they swipe their card, that's cool. And that is something that I think will resonate with consumers."