Banking

This high-tech card is being rolled out by French banks to eliminate fraud

By Oliver Smith 27 September 2016
Summary

Forget fraud, these new bank cards are about to change everything.

Your bank security is pretty broken. It’s not your fault, it’s just really hard to keep people’s money safe, especially online.

Part of the problem is that once your card details are stolen – whether through a phishing attack or by someone copying the digits on the back – fraudsters are free to go on a spending spree until you notice something’s up.

They’re getting away with millions, and it’s a problem affecting over half a million people in the first half of 2016 alone.

Normally by the time you get around to actually cancelling your card, it’s all too late.

But what if the numbers on your card changed every hour so that, even if a fraudster copied them, they’d quickly be out of date?

That’s exactly what two French banks are starting to do with their new high-tech ebank cards.

Motion Code to the rescue

At first glance these cards don’t look any different from the ones you carry around today, but they’re hiding some technological wizardry.

The three digits on the back of this card will change, every hour, for three years.

And after they change, the previous three digits are essentially worthless, and that’s a huge blow for criminals.

“What we know is that banks see this as a hugely growing problem that needs to be addressed,” Aaron Davis, Business Director of Oberthur Technologies UK & Ireland, told The Memo.

Oberthur Technologies is the French digital security company that has developed the tech, called MotionCode, and they’ve been making chip and PIN bank cards for over two decades.

“MotionCode is exactly what you’re doing today – copying the three digits from the back of your card – but with a huge additional level of security.”

As most fraud happens a few hours or days after your card details are actually taken, this would leave criminals essentially with a bunch of useless numbers.

Aside from the small digital screen on the back, the card is identical to the ones you already have. You can bend, drop, even put it through the wash no problem.

The only downside is if you’re one of those people who has memorised all your card numbers, as you’ll still need to check these.

“We’re also seeing some interesting stats around the increased likelihood of people to transact online with this card and we’re seeing spending increases as a result.”

How can I get one?

Today both Société Générale and Groupe BPCE, two of France’s largest banking groups, are preparing to roll out these cards across all their customers after completing a pilot scheme last year.

There are other pilots underway in Poland and Mexico, and Davis is running Oberthur’s UK operation with the hope of getting a pilot or trial started with a UK bank soon.

Let’s hope so because this card is a huge leap forward for security and keeping your hard earned cash safe.

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