Nimble credit card companies that specialize in Internet service appear to be changing the way consumers apply for and manage their card accounts.

Because it is so easy to apply for a card online and get instant approval, more people are doing so, and card companies that promote this feature say they can get people to buy other products and to use electronic accessories such as digital wallets. As consumers are getting more comfortable applying for credit cards online, they are seeking other financial services products on the Internet — in what amounts to a reversal of the offline pattern, in which people tend to get cards from the bank that holds their deposit account.

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