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KAI RYSSDAL: Most of us use our credit cards for everything from the mundane to the exotic. Everyday groceries and celebratory dinners. Corporate cards are the same way, from routine expense account items to $500 dinners with clients. Tickets to that sold-out Broadway show, or late-night stops at some hot new nightclub. And all in the name of business. Those days are gone with the down economy. Companies are cutting back. And Marketplace's Lisa Napoli reports they just got a new way of policing your plastic.
LISA NAPOLI: Say your company gives you a corporate credit card, but they don't want you whipping it out at a bar or at some swanky department store. MasterCard's new inControl card limits the use of your plastic to certain kinds of businesses:
JIM VAN DYKE: It's really like a remote control. You turn it on when you want it on, you turn it off.
That's credit card industry analyst Jim Van Dyke.
Van Dyke: That's what the inControl announcement is all about -- letting the card-holder shut off transactions.
And Letting the boss know via text message what you've used it for.
Steve Abrams of MasterCard says the company's banking on the card to give it a bigger piece of the corporate-card market, where it lags behind Visa and American Express.
STEVE ABRAMS: Wow, if you look at the business-to-business market opportunity in the U.S., I think it's about $14 [trillion] to $17 trillion.
Of course, MasterCard won't be stopping at the corporate market. The next target for the card that lets you limit where its used and tattles on you when you use it is obvious:
In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.