It seems hard to believe but we may be running out of credit card numbers! Credit card companies have been aware of the impending fate of the 16 digit credit and debit card for some time. Now, due to the pandemic, more and more people are shopping online and ultimately more and more people are requesting new credit cards.

According to a story reported by The Guardian, Japan is feeling the pressure more than any other nation. Seems that the Japanese government has long been pushing towards a cashless trading system, and the use of credit and debit cards has incentives attached to that type of spending for some time.

But now, the nation faces a shortage of the 16-digit combinations that are imprinted on the cards. While the first six digits represent such elements as the country, type of card issuer, and brand, everything that comes after that is generated by the credit card companies to indicate discrete account numbers and the type of accounts the customer holds.

According to the report;

"The most obvious solution to the combination conundrum would be to add an extra digit to credit card numbers, but the reform, which would involve advance trials to prevent forgery, could leave the industry with a bill running into billions that it is reluctant to pass on to consumers."

There is even word of a company that tried to address the digit issue by actually  recycling old credit card numbers from people who use to be former members who no longer hold accounts. They soon came to the conclusion the risk for fraud was just too great.

Could this be a sign of what's to come for us here in the U.S.? It could be. However speculators suggest that before long most of these things will be handled with much more complex technology than simply 16 digits.

Guess we can all go back to thinking about other potential issues that may arise to life as we know it. Considering the way 2020 has gone, we are all getting pretty good at that.

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