If you’re anything like me, there’s a stack of credit cards bulking up the size of your wallet (or purse), making it fit to burst in a Costanza-like explosion of receipts and unused condoms. New technology from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania startup Dynamics Inc. could help cut the number of cards cluttering up your wallet by allowing you to access multiple credit card accounts on a single card. To enhance security, the technology also allows the credit card number that appears on the front of a card to be hidden until the correct code is entered.
The technology, which Dynamics Inc. has dubbed Card 2.0, includes the world’s first fully card-programmable ‘Electronic Stripe’ in place of the traditional magnetic stripe. While the Electronic Stripe can be read at any existing point-of-sale (POS) magnetic stripe reader, it also allows any bit of information stored on the programmable stripe to be changed at any time using the card itself. The device is as thin, flexible and durable as current credit cards and will last over three years on a single battery charge.
Dynamics Inc. says the Card 2.0 platform could be used in countless applications, which it refers to as Payments 2.0 applications. At the DEMO Fall 2010 emerging technology conference in Silicon Valley, California, this week, it showcased two potential Payments 2.0 applications.
The first was a card that includes two buttons on the face to select the desired account. When one of the buttons alongside the two printed account numbers is pressed, a small light next to chosen account number lights up and the magnetic-stripe information associated with the selected card is written to the Electronic Stripe, ready to be swiped at any magnetic card reader.
The second card on show was a device that includes five buttons on the face of the card and a paper-thin flexible display that hides a portion of the card number.