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insert anyway ATM card

ATM card/reader that works no matter which way you insert it
  (+19, -5)(+19, -5)
(+19, -5)
  [vote for,

Either a magnetic card or card reader that is dummy proof. No matter which way you insert it into the reader it can read it.
gatech, Jun 16 2000

American Express Blue http://www.americanexpress.com/blue
smart card I mentioned... (pretty cool looking too) [danrue, Jun 16 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

What is stored on a magstripe, and how they work. http://www.howstuff...com/question503.htm
Info for StarChaser (and anyone else who's interested) [Lemon, Jun 16 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       The single problem with this is that it makes the reader cost four times as much, if you just put a reader-head in each of the four positions it could be inserted in... It's easier to just post a picture showing the right way...
StarChaser, Jun 16 2000

       Just for fun, you can try that 'one key X times' on any Citibank ATM. Press the upper left (or is it right?) corner of the screen before you start. It's some special hidden mode for visually impaired people.
koz, Jun 17 2000

       A four-way card wouldn't cost much more, though the stripes would get a lot of handling.   

       Alternatively, combine up to four of your standard-size mag-stripe cards into one four-way card. Of course, this would totally confuse a multi-way reader...   

       Better yet, a card that isn't a magnetic strip at all, but a smart card with a transducer that emulates one. They have electronics that emulate floppies; why not this, too? Then you could store any number of cards *and* work in all four orientations *and* be more secure.
egnor, Jun 18 2000

       Same problem and more with the 'four way card'...The magnetic strip holds data, and if there are four different ones, it'd have to be updated four times. On the other hand, if one of the stripes went bad, you wouldn't be without it for weeks.   

       They don't keep 'live' data, as such, but still. The 'smart card' thing is a little better, although it'd be a pain in the neck in most wallets.
StarChaser, Jun 18 2000

       American Express has a smart card called "Blue" ...it's the same size and shape as any other credit card, but it has a chip built in and a reader that attaches to your computer...
danrue, Jun 27 2000

       I have horrid a credit rating.
vincenzo, Jun 27 2000

       The biggest problem with a 4-way card would be the space taken up by the large dark-brown magstripes. The card would be readable in existing machines, and would have the advantage that even if one magstripe wore out or got damaged there would be three more that could still be usable.
supercat, Jun 27 2000

       They were testing iris-scanning ATMs somewhere in Europe a year or so ago. You didn't need a card at all, just a PIN and an eye.   

       Alternatively, instead of magstripes, they could use those non-contact cards (like some companies use as door keys). Just wave your wallet at the ATM.
wiml, Jun 28 2000

       How about making "Blue" genuinely "Blue" as in "Bluetooth" -- a card you don't have to insert. You just bring it into proximity, key in your PIN and away you go... Just hope you don't have the same PIN as the guy in front of you :
land, Jun 29 2000

       If they designed the card so that the mag-stripe was in the centre, then you'd only need two readers in the receptor machine. The mag-stripe would need front and back codes, however, so that the machine could easily recognise which way round it had been inserted.
Lemon, Jun 29 2000

       Simple. Just put four magnetic strips on the card aligned in opposite directions.
stevegee, Jun 29 2000

       I DEFINATELY don't want a bank having my fingerprint, or retina/iris. I changed banks rather than let them do that. I don't have anything I need to hide from, but I don't want unnecessary information out there either.   

       Re: Bluetooth: From what I've read, it sounds like the Bluetooth things are always saying 'Hello, I'm here, will anyone talk to me?'. If this actually happened, it'd be probably literally only days before there were Bluetooth pickpockets.
StarChaser, Jun 29 2000

       Does the bank really store the fingerprint/retina print, or a one-way hash of the print? I'd be comfortable with the hash...
koz, Aug 22 2000

       Re: Reader costing 4 times as much [StarChaser]   

       I don't know why this would have to cost 4 times as much. The easiest thing to do would be to create a card where the stripe is in the same position no matter which way you insert it. Then make a reader that reads that type of card. One of the easiest ways to do this would be to make the stripe go right down the middle of the card and have the stripe on both the front and back of the card. Another way around this would be to get rid of the rectangular cards that we all know and love and use a square card with a stripe situated like the plus symbol on the front and the back...
dgeiser13, Sep 21 2000

       ...right across the logo, right across where the numbers generally are, and in the process breaking every single card reader in existance, necessitating their replacement.   

       And if you went with the square thing, everyone in the world would have to replace their various card-containing apparati.
StarChaser, Sep 22 2000

       The simplest solution is to have two stripes, one on either side of the back. embossed lettering would allow the blind to tell which way is up, no new equipment, new wallets, and redundancy would lead to longer card life. I can't help thinking that fingerprint/retinal scan would be easier to hack: dont they do this all the time in the movies?
Scott_D, Sep 22 2000

       Banks are averse to actually spending money. StarChaser is correct as usual
I walked into an empty bank in the year 2000 and said to a desk jockey "I need to change my address", I was directed to the automated phone system. I indicated I liked service the old fashioned way, after resistance, finally got it. When queried as to why, Bank rep said "It saves money for the bank". Nauseating.
Unless a card system presents a problem to a bank by means of security breach or losing accounts to [an]other bank[s] implementing a feasible system such as Scott_D indicated {2 parallel strips on backside}, it will be a long time coming.
thumbwax, Sep 24 2000

       The two strip thing would technically work, but they won't do it anyway. It'd take up the room they need for their weasel words, and it's not THAT much more convienent anyway.   

       Thumbwax, it's not that it saves them money as such; the drone you were talking to is probably paid by the hour or a salary and would get paid whether or not anyone came into the bank that day...I'd say it was more likely that he was lazy.
StarChaser, Sep 24 2000

       Does the stripe have to be visible as brown? If the stripe could be printed over, it wouldn't matter how many there were. Infact, the whole card could have magnetic info.
simpleknight, Nov 12 2000

       Would end up having to actually paint the strip. The brown is caused by the iron oxide that holds the magnetic charge. Would probably work, but you'd end up with the paint coming off in the reader, eventually. I have had cards that had actually worn through the strip.   

       The problem with more than one strip is that you have to have the same data on all of them. I don't know exactly what's kept on the strips, so if they're just name, rank and serial number, this wouldn't be a problem. But if it keeps dynamic data of some sort, you'd have to either insert the card twice, or have two readers to update both. The best idea so far is one strip in the center of the back...
StarChaser, Nov 16 2000

       Why not just stick with the existing card design, but have machines with multiple readers in them?
hippo, Nov 17 2000

       Wah! ?redo from start Hippo, - that was the topic of StarChaser's first annotation.
Lemon, Nov 17 2000

       Thanks for the link, Lemon. I'd actually read that before, just couldn't remember where...   

       It looks like it's pretty much static data, so two strips on the back would work, aside from the lack of space for weasel words and such.
StarChaser, Nov 18 2000

       Using your card in every shop's EFTPOS slot [electronic funds transfer [at] point of sale] has made money machines obsolescent where I live. Shops give you cash [if you need it !] from your bank to reduce trips to their bank. I thought this was a world-wide practice.
rayfo, Dec 02 2000

       If you want to buy something at the time, yes. Some places will give you money, some won't.
StarChaser, Dec 02 2000

       rayfo, where do you live?
dgeiser13, Feb 27 2001

       Rayfo is from New Zealand. The system he describes is widely used (normally with optional cash back) in California, too.
jutta, Feb 27 2001

       presumably your bank account data on your card is a little more complex than the teabags box's barcode, and probably fairly stable/secure as well...
jabbers, Aug 13 2001

       //presumably your bank account data on your card is a little more complex than the teabags box's barcode, and probably fairly stable/secure as well...//   

       Most cards have two tracks. One contains the account number, expiration date, checksum, synchronization marks, and not much else. The other typically contains the cardholder's name and a bunch of stuff which varies by provider. Many POS terminals just use the first track.   

       Card readers are very inexpensive, and can be readily found in electonics distributors' catalogs. The writers are quite a bit more pricey, but not overly hard to get. All of the information required to duplicate a standard magstripe card may be read out easily.
supercat, Feb 17 2002

       How's this for a suggestion? Two ferro oxide stripes in the position for machine reading, laminated between two plastic sheets. The sheets would be sufficiently thin over the stripes that the current stock of readers could detect them from either side. It could be thicker elseware to allow for emossing or whatever identifying advertising was desired. The encoding of the information on the stripes would have to be in a palindormic format, i.e. read the same backwards as forwards so that the numbers could be read correctly regardless of which way the card was entered into the machine. That should be no problem as the information could be encoded forward and then backward in a single data stream.
ThunderBunny, Mar 27 2003

       [ThunderBunny], I've seen too many cards break at the stripe. The plastic is actually slightly thinner there where the stripe is inlaid. Thinner ones would die much too quickly.   

       The cheapest (and most reasonable) solution would simply be to have a STANDARD SWIPE ORIENTATION! Just build all new readers to the same orientation and eventually the confusion goes away. But that could only work if the people making these things weren't stupid, and the current mess demonstrates that they are.   

       (Oops. I'm getting more familiar with the HB, and found that standardisation is another idea- one I'll vote up.)
Souse Mouse, Dec 12 2005

       I thought this idea was going to deal with the problem that you often have to wait to insert your debit card into the machine.
Antegrity, Dec 12 2005

       Heck- Why not just man the ATM's with welfare recipents and they can assist with the proper direction of the card?
Jscotty, Dec 12 2005

       Those of you with SIM cards in your phones know what im talking about. Why not put a 4-way geometrically symmetric SIM piece in the middle of that card. Which ever way you put it into an ATM, it could be read.   

       Only problem is that this is much more expensive than mag-strips. However it's still cheaper than a 4 way strip reader with backward compatible reading.
half-n-half, Dec 18 2005


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