The future of credit card protection?
Looks like plastic just got a little bit smarter.
Using technology created by a clever Pittsburgh entrepreneur, a sophisticated new card is poised to change the way you use credit.
Dynamics LLC hopes to reduce the billions of dollars lost annually by credit card companies through theft and fraudulent purchases with the use of an advanced magnetic stripe that periodically changes some of the card’s digits.
And having a card whose numbers change, in some instances after every time the card is swiped, could make it difficult for someone to capture the card number and use it fraudulently.
Cards using the technology will be the same size, shape and weight of ordinary credit cards.
The ability to include a programmable magnetic stripe means the cards will be a lot smarter than those currently in your wallet, so skimmers and crafty crooked cashiers who try to memorize a customer’s card number are out of luck.
Dynamics -- one of a number of companies working on new credit card technology -- first unveiled a prototype in September 2010.
In addition, Citi has unveiled its new 2G card that uses Dynamics technology and includes both a programmable stripe and buttons that let customers choose whether they want to pay with credit or rewards points, according to creditcards.com.
The card contains a battery and a tiny microprocessor, but looks and feels like an ordinary card.
Citi plans to make a decision by the end of the year on how broadly to market the card, creditcards.com reported.
In the meantime, these strategies will reduce your risk of identity theft or credit card fraud:
- Check your accounts online weekly. It just takes a minute but can save you a lot of heartache and time fighting fraudulent charges. Check them daily if you suspect anything is amiss with your cards.
- Check your credit report every four months. You are entitled to one free report a year from each credit bureau (Experian, Equifax and Trans Union). Spread out the free report offer among the three credit bureaus by pulling a different report every four months.
- Sign the back of your credit cards. Don’t write see driver’s license on back because that means a cashier or worker has the chance to look at your license, which has your address and signature. Identity theft experts say that’s a bigger risk for ID theft than signing the back of the card.
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