Can mobile payments topple the plastic king?

As creditors get tough with Millennials, younger financial consumers may well steer the robust plastic payments market to mobile payments.

You’d think that the rise of mobile and digital-based financial payments would cut into the number of credit cards used by American consumers.

But if you thought that, you’d be wrong – at least right now.

According to the personal finance website, the number of credit cards in use in the U.S. will reach “record highs” by 2018, with 500 million cards “expected to be in circulation.”

That would represent the high point for nationwide credit card use, which had previously peaked in 2008, just before the Great Recession blindsided the U.S. economy (with 496 million cards in use in the second quarter of 2008.) At one point following the economic meltdown, active credit cards fell by 118.2 million, during the third quarter of 2010, reports.

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