A new prototype credit card from Dynamics Inc could be the solution to credit card fraud.
The card is powered by a tiny battery, and generates a different security code (usually the three digit code printed on the back) every time it's switched on. The number stored in the magnetic strip also changes - so it can't be cloned, at least with current technology.
The card is on display at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the technology is currently under trial by Citibank.
The card's number changes every time it's used - so it's near-impossible to clone with current technology. Online shoppers simply enter a PIN to 'turn on' the card, and it generates a new number which is displayed on the front - this can then be typed in to websites safely
The code stored in the magnetic strip changes every time it's used - so it's very difficult to clone.
You 'tell' the card to switch on by entering a PIN code, and it displays the number. Without the code, it's useless.
The card is the size of an ordinary credit or debit card, and the battery inside lasts for three years.
Dynamics Inc, the company behind the cards, says that its 'powered cards' can also be used for cards that offer access to several accounts from one card, or cards that hide a portion of the number unless a PIN is entered.
'All that is needed to steal a credit card number today is a pen and paper or a portable card reader,' says maker Dynamics Inc, which showed off the card at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
'The credit card automatically writes a new, unique dynamic security code onto its magnetic strip for every purchase. A display can also be added to the card - thus replacing the three or four digit security code physically printed on traditional cards.'
When the card is 'off', the magnetic strip doesn't store the correct number - so thieves can't 'skim' a card in a restaurant.