Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Smarter Credit Card

Several security features described here
  [vote for,

This card is no more than twice the thickness of a regular credit card, but includes some electronics (yes, they can make it that thin these days).

There will be solar cells and a capacitor; it never needs batteries.

There will be a thumbprint spot for bio-authentication.

It will have a controllable short-distance radio-link ability. You will only use this at the bank, or when at a verifiable connection to the bank (like an ATM), for things like initializing the security system, and moving money amounts between the card and the bank. The rest of the time, the radio link is disabled.

There will be a passive-lighting touchscreen for data input and output. Remember that both sides of the card have space that we can use to put stuff. Currently the thinnest screen I know is based on "iMod" technology (linked).

And the "magnetic stripe" is not a normal magnetic stripe. First of all, this part of the card can be thinner than the rest of the card, to ensure it fits in all card-swiper gadgets. (Card-swallowing gadgets will either need to be modified, or we have to wait till we can make this electronic card the same thickness as a regular credit card.)

Next, there are many fine wires in the "magnetic" stripe, positioned to match the typical spacing of magnetic domains in the typical magnetic stripe. When these wires are energized, they create a set of magnetic fields that, to the card-reader, looks identical to the ordinary fixed magnetic fields on the magnetic stripe.

Obviously, you can program those wires to display any data you like. The real purpose, however, is to ensure that someone who steals your card can't get any data out of that stripe! Because its wires are only energized when the thumbprint-recognizer is active. Ditto with the touchscreen I/O, of course.

There is a type of card called a "pre-paid" credit card. I almost got one the other day, until I saw that there is a $6/month fee, even if you don't use it. And I only wanted one to make occasional Internet purchases.

This card would be more like a combination of a pre-paid card and a debit card. When you connect to the bank, you transfer funds to this card. No-one who obtains the "number" of this card can do rogue purchasing. That's because,

(A), the bank only honors this card-number over the radio link, when the thumbprint is detected, and

(B), the card itself doesn't allow any money to be withdrawn from its internal record without you specifying, BEFORE the card is swiped through a card reader, the merchandiser and the amount, also while the thumbprint is detected.

Vernon, Jun 02 2012

iMod / "mirasol" display http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/
As mentioned in the main text [Vernon, Jun 02 2012]

wreckers http://www.gandolf....kers/Wreckers.shtml
[not_morrison_rm, Jun 03 2012]

satellites to check on possible farmers EU funds fraud http://www.bbc.co.u...rld-europe-16545333
[not_morrison_rm, Jun 03 2012]


       Brilliant. The only flaw I see is that, since the cardholder must be physically present and the card must be physically swiped to transfer funds during purchase, the card cannot be used for internet purchases. But other than that, bunworthy.
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       Ha! in America they don't even have chip and pin in most places..... if some of those east European criminal gangs get going over there, they'll clean the place out.
xenzag, Jun 02 2012

       In the major population centers, anyway. Organized crime doesn't work in rural areas.
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       //Organized crime doesn't work in rural areas   

       Cornish wreckers, EU farm funds fraud.....   

       I thought this was going to be a very smart credit card,preferably smarter than me, that'd go "bu-bu, you really don't need those Vusix 1200 data glasses, it'd be better to pay off debt first and then..." or something like that.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 03 2012

       Okay, organized crime doesn't work in rural areas _in the US_. Down south and in the Breadbasket, you have the agricultural unions, which will respond in surprising force, and up north we have a lot of deep quarries and such. It's hard to run an extortion racket when you keep running out of enforcers.   

       Seriously, check out the history of the Mafia and their attempted expansion into northern New England during the post-prohibition era, when the locals no longer had incentive to cooperate.   

       If somebody came to my door suggesting that bad things would happen unless I paid protection or aided in the commission of illegal acts, that individual would disappear without a trace, as would the next, etc. This territory does not allow that type of criminal the kind of security that can be found in a city. The only organized crime activities that effect folks like us are things like wire fraud, and we're getting savvy to that, too. Our banks are often small, hypervigilant, and know their members personally.Not to mention that most of us don't have anything worth stealing.
Alterother, Jun 03 2012

       Another reason is that we have groups of our own (I don't mean to include myself in that "we"), such as commercial marijuana growers, meth lab rings, border smugglers, etc. that do not victimize the general populace and take a dim view of those who do, because it's bad for business. There was a prescription drug extortion racket that opened up in western Maine last year--literally, they were finding out who had prescriptions for narcotics and going house-to- house, threating those people until they gave up the drugs. This went on for about two weeks, then the beaten and bullet-riddled bodies of the operation's two ringleaders were found hanging under a bridge in Philips.   

       I'm not condoning vigilante justice, or saying that I approve of it, which for the most part I do not, but it happens. Thus, the Mob has no purchase for a toehold here. This is the case in other rural ares of the US, but I can't speak for other countries. I imagine it's probably the same in Canadia.
Alterother, Jun 03 2012

       Don't mess with them there hillbillies!
xenzag, Jun 03 2012

       Or our credit cards.
Alterother, Jun 03 2012

       Here, it's motorcycle gangs. One of the local ones is currently the subject of proscription order proceedings, outlawing their right to association and property. It's created a situation where there were a number of shootings and assaults over the weekend, as others moved in on their drug distribution and nightclub rackets.
UnaBubba, Jun 04 2012

       We do have a problem with motorcycle gangs, but, again, it's one of those situations where they aren't harming the innocent populace (beyond the harm done by the drugs some people choose to buy from them). Once in a while there's a spate of inter-gang violence, and they have occasional shoot-outs with the cops. Those always end with a handful of dead bikers and no police casualties because the Maine State SWAT Teams (all two of them) spend nearly all of their time practicing or going after each other marker rounds (like paintballs, but fired from real guns). Last year they brought in some Isrealis to teach them new tricks.
Alterother, Jun 04 2012


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