Credit card acts like a smartphone

A new MasterCard debuting in Singapore next year will have touch-sensitive buttons and an LCD screen.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 6, 2012 4:56PM

This post comes from Geoff Williams at partner site logoMobile phones have been trying to turn themselves into credit cards, but are credit cards now trying to become mobile phones?


Image: Singapore (© Bill Lai/Corbis)Well, perhaps that's overstating it a bit, but MasterCard just announced that next year, starting in January, it will put on the market in Singapore a credit card that looks a little like a phone.


In other words, MasterCard's new credit card, called the Display Card, has touch-sensitive buttons and an LCD screen on it. Basically, this is for affluent Singapore cardholders, allowing them to type in a one-time password to authenticate that the credit card really is theirs, before they conduct expensive or complicated transactions.


It helps prevent identity theft, since if you're a crook with the card, you'd presumably have to know the password to be able to use it before buying, say, a 55-inch widescreen TV.


Still, given that we now have a credit card that has buttons and uses wireless technology to transmit information from consumer to credit card issuer and retailer, you could imagine credit cards one day featuring add-on technology that would allow a consumer to make a call -- if not to a friend or family, perhaps to the credit card issuer itself, or maybe to a customer service line for a product.

That said, as noted, the technology has less to do with competing with smartphones than trying to prevent identity theft, and clearly, MasterCard is thinking ahead and imagining new possibilities for card technology in the coming years. According to MasterCard's press release about the Display Card, "In future, this card could incorporate additional functionalities and be able to indicate other real-time information such as available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions, and other interactive information."


So instead of looking up your information on your PC, tablet or smartphone, you could look it up on your credit card.


This may be just the beginning. If these credit cards are a hit in Singapore, they could evolve to the point where they have a lot of useful bells and whistles. And especially if smartphones don't ultimately replace the credit card as the optimum method of paying for things, we may someday start seeing these "display cards" in the United States and throughout the world.


More on and MSN Money:


Dec 6, 2012 9:25PM
A credit card with buttons??  Great.  Just what I need.  Yet another gadget I have to learn how to use....and my VCR is still blinking 12:00 12:00 12:00
Dec 6, 2012 6:11PM
"Credit card acts like a smartphone"

Seems a little contradictory, unless it is "Smart" enough to call you and say 
Dec 6, 2012 6:25PM
Terrible idea....who would want a credit card with any type of data connection sounds risky, someone will hack that ****
Dec 6, 2012 5:30PM
Make sure it's charged! What a hassle- my wallet is too big already. A phone app that works like a credit card makes sense, not this.
Dec 6, 2012 7:31PM
seems it wasn't that long cards were run thru a swipe machine with carbon paper to process a sale. now, this.
Dec 6, 2012 11:30PM

What next, a mandatory 2 year contract to use this "smart-card" along with an early termination fee?

Dec 7, 2012 4:35AM
seriosly,   instead of just stealiing a credit card or info they now want the thieves to accost you for the password.  SEEMS VERY DANGEROUS TO ME!
Dec 7, 2012 12:28AM
WTF??? SERIOUSLY? Man, I still use a flip phone. WHAT'S NEXT???
Dec 6, 2012 9:48PM
Why can't we just go ahead and get an all informative chip implanted in our forearm and be done with it?
Dec 6, 2012 10:34PM

Interesting that their are people for and against.

How about making it Illegal to be on the damn cell phone while driving w/o it being hands free. and therefore, a speaker. so instead of only a few states making it illegal w/o hands free, the whole national making it illegal.


My point is. People's cell Phone was a garget when it first came out., well so is this new Credit Card gadget. furthermore, this article has to so with it being in Singapore. this article picture is no where in the USA, and the USA Technology had not gotten this fair yet.


Giver NV 1234 get a life already. Credit Cards have already been hacked, same goes for cell phones. your voice can be herd from anywhere giving out confidential information, such at a stop light, w/o hands free.

Dec 7, 2012 8:57AM
If one of these buttons would eliminate the 535 corrupt people in Congress I want all of them
Dec 7, 2012 7:09AM
So you know this technology is not cheap, and the customer is most likely paying for it.
Dec 7, 2012 2:21AM
The "system" just wants to get to know us in order to serve us better. Someday the gadgets that spend our money will know before we do what we want, need and can afford. Passwords will be obsolete since the gadgets will know us better than we know ourselves. They will monitor our appearance, voice, gait, fingerprints, retinas and countless details about our physiology as we experience life. The "system" will anticipate more and more things about us further and further into the future with greater and greater accuracy. We may come to depend upon them in order to compete effectively in the post modern world. It reminds me of the Sting song: "I'll be wrapped around your finger".
Dec 7, 2012 9:47AM
Why not just create an app, for smartphone using the QR/Bar code scanner at all stores and there you go now we don't have to carry around more equipment in our pockets, more convenient and less stuff to carry, and same you can still view, check, etc. and even punch in password.
Dec 7, 2012 9:06AM
MSN, call me when someone develops a "transporter". Other than that, we rarely use our "old plastic credit cards. Find something better than this nonsense.
Dec 7, 2012 9:12AM
 Do you take your Smartphone to bed with you? Then get the Smart Phone Sleeper. The only smartphone holder nightstand made for the bed. FREE SHIPPING limited time.
Dec 6, 2012 8:54PM
o boy, how far we've come! now we will have cc with buttons on them yet we can't figure out how to not bomb the crap out of each other yet(basically US bombing others into oblivion). hows about figuring out this autism epidemic or something positive for humanity, for christs sake. heyyyyy Jeeeesus, help us now, we need it. this god fella sure is letting things go a little far before his (or hers) divine intervention. maybe he'll step in after we nuke the planet to he'll. my guess is he still wouldn't show, just a guess
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