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Rediff.com  » Business » Now, a credit card that talks to you!

Now, a credit card that talks to you!

Last updated on: March 11, 2011 13:28 IST

Now, a credit card that talks to you!

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Imagine your credit card talking to you and displaying your balance, while doubling as a reward card. Well, your imagination will soon turn into a reality.

Dynamics Inc is developing such cards - due to be introduced in the US later this year - which will have wafer-thin microprocessors and would run on batteries that can last up to three years.

However, the credit cards will only display personal information after a security code is entered.

Citibank has released the new 2G card, which has a programmable magnetic strip and buttons on the front for users to choose to use it as a credit card or just to spend reward points, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.


Image: Citibank has just released a new 2G card.
Photographs: Reuters
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A trial is currently ongoing and, if successful, it could roll out across the country. Even Mastercard has just released a card that has a small LCD screen which displays a one-time code which the customer can use to make an online purchase.

It means even if someone's credit card details are stolen, they will be useless to buy anything with without the one-off code.

Jeff Mullen, CEO of Dynamics Inc, which is working on several other high-tech cards, said that the end of the magnetic strip has been mooted for years, but is still the dominant payment system in the world.

He said: "Magnetic stripe readers are being placed in more places than ever before - like vending machines, movie theater kiosks and taxicabs."


Image: Mastercard has introduced a card with LCD screen.
Photographs: Reuters
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Even in Japan, where the infrastructure is in place and phones (which can make payments) have been distributed for seven years, the volume of phone payments is significantly less than one per cent share of transactions.

European chip cards comprise only about 10 per cent of cards in world, he said.

Banks, phone providers, Google and Apple, are also working on mobile payment systems, which rely on short-range wireless technology that allows electronic devices to transmit encrypted data.

"Although mobile payments is the future, you're not going to move all that overnight to magical phones. So these are step innovations, rather than leap innovations.

"Some are very much needed, and some are probably not going to make it," Todd Ablowitz, President of Double Diamond Group, a consulting firm on payments strategy technologies and products, was quoted by the British newspaper as telling the creditcards.com.


Image: Google is working on mobile payment systems.
Photographs: Reuters
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