MasterCard is launching a new high tech card in Singapore that features an LCD display and a built-in keyboard. The card looks and functions just like a regular credit card but with the addition of the LCD screen and touch-sensitive buttons. MasterCard calls it Display Card technology.
There are a number of banks and sites that require users to use a small security device to generate a one-time security key in order to log in to the site. While this provides for additional security, many users find security tokens such as these to be cumbersome since they have to carry an additional deivce in order to log in to their bank account. This new card could replace the small security devices by having the ability to display the one-time security key.
"We brainstormed on ways to make it convenient and yet secure for customers," said V. Subba, regional head of retail banking products for Standard Chartered Bank, which is working with MasterCard. "The question was: instead of sending customers another bulky token, could we replace something which already exists in the customer's wallet? That was when credit, debit and ATM cards immediately came to mind."
In the future, the card's LCD could also display additional information such as a user's remaining balance or recent transaction history. Alternatively, the card could display loyalty or reward point information.
The new high-tech card will be available in January before it is rolled out globally. MasterCard is not alone in this venture. Visa announced a similar card last year with interactive functions. Smartphone manufacturers are also hoping to compete in this market using NFC and eliminate the need for physical cards.
This is another challenge for hackers to overcome. In time, they probably will.
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