Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Future of Credit Cards - Card 2.0

With most people having more than one credit and/or debit cards, carrying all your cards can be quite cumbersome, let alone the fear of losing all of them. To tackle this some people carry just a couple of cards leaving the others behind. But what if you are out shopping and need the one you left behind?

Dynamics, Inc. has come up with a brilliant solution for this problem with their programmable cards. So basically, while our conventional card has a one time loaded magnetic strip, the card from Dynamics comes with a programmable magnetic strip to communicate dynamic information. Although it looks like a normal card, it can do much more.

Currently they have two types of cards based on the nature of the consumer.

  • MultiAccount - The device includes two buttons on the face of a card. Next to each button is a printed account number and a light source. A user can select an account by pressing one of the buttons. The card visually indicates the selection by turning ON the light source associated with the selected account. Additionally, the magnetic-stripe information associated with the account is written to the Electronic Stripe™. The card can then be swiped at any magnetic strip reader. You can have a combination like credit/credit, debit/credit, debit/debit, credit/gift card, etc.
  • Hidden - The device includes five buttons on the face of a card and a paper-thin flexible display. The display hides a portion of a cardholder's payment card number. To turn the device ON, a user must enter a personal unlocking code into the card. If the user enters in the correct unlocking code, the card will then visually display the user's payment card number so that the user can read the number for online transaction. The magnetic stripe is then populated with the correct magnetic data such that the card can also be used with magnetic stripe readers. After a period of time, the display turns OFF and the Electronic Stripe™ erases itself - thus removing all critical payment information from the surface of the card. If the card is lost or stolen, the card is essentially useless. 
Other areas where this card can be used is institution identity cards, medical cards, security cards, etc.

The CEO of Dynamics, Jeff Mullen demoed the technology at Demo Fall 2010 in Silicon Valley, CA. Even though it is packed with a lot of electronic components, it is completely water proof, as shown by Jeff.

I feel this technology has a very bright future and can only wait to see what more can come out of it.

Source: Demo Fall 2010, Dynamics, Inc.

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