• U.S.

Money: A Card That Asks For ID

1 minute read
Sora Song

When IBM inventor Ed Kelley suddenly discovered that his telephone calling card had been canceled–the number had been stolen and used for exorbitant calls to Central America and Asia–he decided he’d had enough. To put an end to swiped identities and pilfered credit cards, he and IBM engineer Franco Motika set about developing a new generation of smart cards. The recently patented, theftproof card contains a computer chip and features a tiny numerical keypad right on its face. The cardholder inputs a PIN, stored directly in the card’s circuitry; the same code must be entered before each use. The PIN turns the card on and generates a unique one-time-only transaction code. For approval, that code has to synch with an algorithm run by the credit-card company’s computer. The smart card isn’t on the market yet, but its inventors hope it will someday replace all traditional credit cards. IBM plans to license the technology. –By Sora Song

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