Credit cards are about to get their biggest makeover in decades, transforming them from simple slivers of plastic to mini-computers in your wallet.
These technological marvels could allow you to make payments more safely and cut down on the number of them you actually need to carry.
Here, Money Mail reveals the six cards of the future currently being designed by MasterCard...
THE ONE THAT... SHOWS YOUR BALANCE
Soon there will never be an excuse for not knowing how much you have left in your account, as your bank card will tell you every time you use it.
MasterCard has designed a debit card that displays your balance in the top right-hand corner on what looks like a mini calculator screen. The figure remains visible for just a few seconds.
Nervous shoppers can turn the display on and off using a Pin code, which can be input on a pad on the card.
Incredibly, the new technology means the card won’t be any thicker than those already in use and its battery will last as long as the card does.
...UNLOCKS WITH A FINGERPRINT
This card provides an extra layer of security which promises to put an end to fraud should your card ever be stolen.
It will not activate for use until it gets your fingerprint. And to do this, you press your finger against a small pad on the plastic to unlock the card.
It can then be used as usual for shopping, only instead of entering a Pin, you swipe the card against a small scanner at the till (just as if you were making a regular contactless payment).
You will still need to enter a Pin at a cash machine, though.
This type of card, called the Zwipe MasterCard, has already been trialled in Norway and Poland and may be made available to customers in the UK within 12 months.