Singapore has just seen the launch of the first ever credit card with built in keyboard and LCD display. Touch sensitive buttons on the card give its owner the opportunity to set a password, which means that it should be easier for many customers to log on to online banking as there’s no need for a separate device – be careful though, as you only get one opportunity to set your password, and it can’t be changed – you’d have to apply for a new card.
The card – launched by Mastercard – is set to become widely available throughout Singapore in January, with a view to rolling out globally sometime in the New Year.
In future, the card could contain many new features including a displayed balance. The primary practical benefit of the card though is that it means that customers will not have to own bulky security tokens or “secure keys” which are required by some banks to log on to online banking systems, while still being more secure than simply having to remember a username and password.
Credit card comparison website Totally Money hailed the new card as a step forward, but questioned how useful it would really be.
Will Becker, Chief Executive at TotallyMoney.com said: “It’s fantastic innovation from Mastercard, clearly better than carrying a separate security device. However, we question the necessity for separate security devices at all. Our preference is for better education on normal online security since the cost and time involved in secondary security measures is significant and proper precautions around passwords and online security render them unnecessary.”
It remains to be seen whether cards such as this will become widespread quickly enough to stem the tide of NFC, which looks like being the preferred method of payment for many people and companies in future.