MasterCard shows 'Display Cards' with LCD screen and PIN

MasterCard announced it is rolling out new, high-tech credit cards featuring touch-sensitive buttons and LCD screens to users of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore. These new cards have what is called “Display Card” technology, which lets users generate a One-Time Password (OTP) for extra security during online banking sessions.

According to MasterCard’s press release, the Display Card works just like any other credit card or debit card, but with the added benefit of an authentication token. At the moment, many banks issue a separate authentication token for online banking services, especially for services that involve large transactions or the changing of personal details (in fact, many banks won’t let you change personal details, such as addresses, online at all).

With this new Display Card technology, the need for a separate authentication device is eliminated, since the card is able to offer up two-factor authentication by itself. The Display Card also eliminates the necessity of text-message or email authentication.

MasterCard says the Display Card is easy to use – a card holder simply taps a button on the card, and the screen in the upper right corner (which can display up to six digits at a time) will display a one-time dynamic password. When two-factor authentication isn’t needed, the card works just like any other credit, debit, or ATM card.

MasterCard also indicates that, in the future, the Display Card’s LCD may be used for information other than an authentication token – for example, it could be used to display “available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions, and other interactive information.”

The Display Card could be exactly what online – and physical – banking needs to keep consumers safe. As our society becomes increasingly cashless, more and more people are finding themselves subject to the whims of hackers, RFID-reader-toting credit card stealers, and other unsavory characters. With a Display Card, though, anyone who accidentally (or not) managed to get their hands on your credit card number would still have to have the actual card before they could make large purchases. (The question, of course, is whether it will hold up as well as traditional credit cards do when exposed to water or other elements.)

The Display Card is manufactured by Swiss-based Nagra ID Security, a company that produces “multi-component and other complex cards for the security and identification industry.” The very first MasterCard Display Card, called the “SinoPac Display Card,” was introduced in Taiwan in conjunction with Bank SinoPac in October of 2010. In November 2011, MasterCard and Turkish bank TEB launched the world’s first multi-function Display Card – a card which combined chip-secured payment, OTP authentication, and account information.

So far, the Display Card has been introduced in multiple countries around the world, but the latest introduction in Singapore is the largest deployment to date.

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