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The novel credit card provides an extra layer of security above and beyond a standard credit card by ditching the static printed three-digit security code on the back of a card (or four digits on the front, unconventionally, with Amex.) Instead the static numbers are replaced with a mini screen controlled by a thin lithium battery. The mini-screen displays a random code. This coder changes every hour. Otherwise the card looks similar to any other credit or debit card. The mini-screen is said to be resistant to washing and isn't affected by the card becoming bent, according to The Memo.
The idea being that if the card is cloned or details taken, then these stolen details with be defunct within an hour of the fraud happening. One common way for cards to be cloned is through the use of so-called 'skimmers' which are attached to ATM machines. The new cards will address this type of criminal activity.
This brings with it a downside, of course, with customers not being able to memorize their card security number. This means the person who owns the card will need to affirm the number each time they wish to purchase something.
The anti-fraud credit card has been produced by Oberthur Technologies and a prototype has been issued in France, with a full version expected by the end of 2016 (via banks Société Générale and Groupe BPCE.) The next country to trial the card is expected to be the U.K., followed by Mexico and Poland.
Commenting favorably about the new card, Professor Alan Woodward, who is a cybersecurity expert based at Surrey University, told the BBC: "In some ways, it's surprising it has taken so long for this to appear", adding "the technology has existed for some time so now it will be a case of persuading card processors that it is worth doing."