This Credit Card May Be Safer Than Chip and PIN

March 6, 2014, Written By Bill Hardekopf
credit card with lock. Isolated 3D image

Paul Berger, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State University, is working on a credit card design that may slow down identity theft. His creation of a hardware encrypted credit card is said to be extremely secure, which he hopes lead to some credit card design changes in the future.

The number of large scale credit card hacks in recent months is causing most credit card companies and retailers in America to reconsider their security protocol. One of the most commonly suggested “fixes” is to convert the magnetic stripe credit cards used in America to chip and PIN technology, which has widespread use in Europe.

The problem with chips is that they can still be hacked, even if they are less susceptible than magnetic stripes. Traditional chips generate an encrypted code that expires at a certain time after a credit card is swiped.

Berger has developed a credit card that is almost like a miniature computer in the way it is designed. He creates a solvent to build the card, and then he injects different parts of a circuit to make the card have an identity. The result is a credit card with built-in security protection, not just a chip on the outside.

“It’s basically a hardware encryption,” said Berger. “If it was simply a software encryption, then it’s a lot more hackable.”

Berger’s invention only costs about 10 cents per card to manufacture compared to the $1 needed to create most chip and PIN cards. Eventually, Berger believes these cards will be made so that card readers can pull up their information without any swiping action whatsoever.

Berger’s credit card project is not complete yet, but he and his team are hoping to revolutionize the credit card industry. We have yet to hear what credit card companies think of Berger’s product idea.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 6, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.