Card issuers are taking advantage of mobile technology rather than seeing it as a threat to plastic, with Citi's use of the mobile camera to activate cards being the latest example.

Consumers can use the camera to scan account numbers on embossed and nonembossed cards, then input the CVV, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security number to activate the card. The feature is available in Citi's mobile app for iPhone and Android.

The feature is part of a series of enhancements to Citi's mobile app, including a locking feature, and a feature that allows consumers to dispute card charges and view or download PDF statements. The app also enables consumers to track the progress of card replacement in real time.

IMAGE: Bloomberg News

Citi's updating its card issuance at a time in which mobile and other digitization is making it easier for consumers to access, use and secure traditional plastic cards.

“By enabling the ability to scan their cards rather than input 16 digits on a mobile keyboard, it further streamlines the credit card activation process in the palm of cardmembers’ hands,” Alice Milligan, chief customer and digital experience officer for Citi Global Cards and Consumer Services, said in a press release.

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