While credit cards have been around for some time, technology and consumer demand always seem to be driving rapid changes in the ways people make payments. Here are four credit card trends to keep an eye out for in the year ahead.

Flashier (or Heavier) Card Options

As always, issuers are intent on finding new ways to grab the attention of cardholders old and new. Watch for the continued proliferation of metal credit cards and the introduction of all-new, eye-catching credit card designs.

Going More and More Mobile

Consumers continue to be more reliant on their mobile devices to manage their finances. In fact, it seems as though mobile payment usage is expected to rise in the coming year. One projection expects that global mobile payments will rise to $930 billion in 2018, up from $780 billion in 2017. Be on the lookout for new ways to pay without your physical card and more peer to peer payment platforms, such as Venmo, to emerge.

Interest Rates May Continue to Climb

Just like in 2017, credit card interest rates may be expected to increase. This is because most credit card interest rates change in step with a measure known as the Prime Rate. The Prime Rate is always three percentage points above the federal funds rate, which is set by the United States Federal Reserve Bank. And in 2018, the federal funds rate is expected to increase by about three-quarters of a percentage point, according to members of the Federal Open Market Committee.

A Redoubling of Attention to Security

With high profile data breaches in the news throughout the past year, look for more efforts to introduce new security features from credit bureaus and credit card companies alike. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center‘s mid-year report, the number of data breaches was projected reach 1,500 by the end of 2017. That would represent a 37 percent increase from 2016, which was already an all-time high.

As new security solutions appear, be sure not to overlook those that are already out there to help protect you against identity theft and credit fraud. For example, Discover offers free Social Security Number alerts to its cardmembers who sign up for them.* These alerts help cardmembers protect themselves from identity theft by alerting users when their Social Security Number is found on one of the thousands of risky websites being monitored. Additionally, cardmembers will receive an alert if any new credit cards, mortgages, car loans or other accounts are opened on their Experian credit report. It’s just one more way that Discover itself is on top of the latest credit card trends.

Stay on top of these emerging credit card trends to help ensure that you’re staying safe, efficient, and knowledgeable about your credit card use.

*Discover® Identity Alerts are offered by Discover Bank at no cost, only available online, and currently include the following services: (a) daily monitoring of your Experian® credit report and an alert when a new account is listed on your report; (b) daily monitoring of thousands of risky websites known for revealing personal information and an alert if your Social Security Number on is found on such a website. This information is intended for, and only provided to, Primary credit cardmembers whose accounts are open, in good standing and have an email address on file. The Primary cardmember must agree online to receive identity alerts. Identity alert services are based on Experian information and data which may differ from information and data at other credit bureaus. Monitoring your credit report does not impact your credit score. This benefit may change or end in the future. Discover Bank is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit discover.com/freealerts.

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