Smart credit cards: The future of card security

With the innovative technology introduced by EMV where the chip is embedded into most credit cards, point-of-sale purchases became more secure than ever before. Now, with a new idea and a micro-thin battery, even buying online or over the phone can be just as safe.

Blinking numbers on your card

The latest development in card security, known as Motion Code, is the brainchild of Oberthur Technologies, a French digital technology company. Using a digital display that is powered by a micro-thin battery the CVV – credit verification value – number on a credit card can change as often as 72 times in 24 hours, making it almost impossible to use the card details without the actual card being present. The CVV number, which is the crux of any credit card transaction, is displayed in the display on the back of the card, and will change randomly to ensure that captured information sent over the internet or phone cannot be used again.

Coming soon to the US

Motion Code technology, which is due to hit the US sometime in 2017, might be the ticket to help plastic remain a force in payment options. With the advent of digital payment option such as of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Venmo and Google, the humble credit card was facing oblivion as outdated and insecure. The US has been slow to adopt the EMV technology, which has been prevalent in Western Europe for more than 10 years. A big reason for this is the cost of the card reader needed to process payments. At around $500 each, a lot of retailers are still using the old swipe machines, which don’t utilize the added security of the chip. As of October 2016 around 25% of US retailers had installed the new card readers, but many are still not using them.

Added security for online buyers

EMV chip-enabled cards may have given the consumer added security in the store, but they are ineffective when buying over the phone or web. An added step of verification – by either text or email – often leaves the buyer with a problem if the phone is not on or it takes too long to open an email. “The number of transactions that are dropped through this is too high,” said Martin Ferenczi, president for Oberthur’s North American operations. Motion Code technology also means that retailers who already have the card reader will not have to fork out for expensive new hardware. The transactions can be processed on the same card readers that read the EMV chips. “There is a constant balancing act between security and simplicity,” said Ferenczi. “Motion Code solves this better than any other option.”

Preventing and reducing fraud

The Nilson Report, which produces information on the tracking of payment card data, states that 23% of global purchase are from the US, but they also fall victim to nearly 39% of the world’s card fraud. The Motion Code cards could change that, simply by changing the CVV number frequently to give that extra security and peace of mind for the consumer. As one of the largest chip-enabled card manufacturers in the world, Oberthur Technologies, who employ over 1,200 people in the US and Canada alone, are taking a big step towards eliminating credit card fraud.

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