It's not your father's credit card.
After 50 years of embossed numbers and a magnetic strip, credit cards
will soon have more of a 21st century look.
In November one of the nation's largest
credit card issuers, Citibank, will test market a card that features
electronic options for the consumer. For example, at the register a
customer can push a button on the card to choose whether to use
points or pay with credit.
Other companies are developing plastic
cards that can be used either as credit or debit cards. What they all
have in common is technology. The current credit cards, designed when
every transaction was recorded by making an imprint on a small carbon
slip by running the card through a machine, will be replaced with one
that are powered electronically.
of the new credit cards are being designed by Dynamics Inc., which
unveiled its new anti-skimming technology this week at BAI Retail
Delivery in Las Vegas. After all, the purpose of the new
technological make-over is to make credit cards less prone to
Each year, the payment system loses billions of dollars
from fscammers stealing credit card numbers. In fact, all that is
needed to steal a credit card number today is a pen and paper or a
portable card reader. More advanced fraudsters steal credit card
numbers by breaking into merchant servers where the numbers are
Dynamics' anti-skimming device, called the Dynamic Credit Card, is designed to help protect consumers and merchants against this threat by automatically writing a new, unique dynamic security code onto its magnetic stripe for every in-store purchase. A display can also be added to the card so the card can automatically display a new, unique dynamic security code for every online purchase - thus replacing the three or four digit security code physically printed on traditional cards.
"The Dynamic Credit Card technology eradicates skimming both domestically and internationally without changing a single card reader or impacting a single merchant system," said Jeff Mullen, Dynamics' CEO.
The security benefits of new card technology can be increased when combined with other anti-fraud technologies. For example, Dynamic says codes can be added to its Dynamics' Hidden card, where an on-card interface requires a user to enter an unlocking code into the card in order to activate the card. That, the company says, renders a card useless if its is lost or stolen.
Citi calls its new card 2G and has designed it so that the user can change the data on the card's magnetic strip, just by pushing a button. They can still be used like existing cards at existing swipe terminals.