The Top 10 High-Tech Credit Cards (and the cool stuff they can do)

Gone are the days when people shopped for credit cards based on interest rates and reward points. Now, many consumers are more interested in what kind of technology the card offers. Check out our list of the ten most high-tech cards being offered now and in the future.

1. The One Time Password (OTP) DisplayCard: This card promises to eliminate the chances for credit card fraud in online transactions. It boasts a panel, embedded in the card, that generates a one-time number password when the card owner touches a button. Online transactions are complete only with the entry of this number, which means that the buyer must be in possession of the card at the time of the purchase.

2. The Chase Blink Card: This card comes with an embedded microchip and antenna called the Blink icon. It allows you to make payments in the blink of an eye and claims to reduce waiting times by as much as 30 percent. Instead of swiping, you just hold your card up the reader to complete your transaction. What’s the catch? It’s usable only with certain merchants that have the special reader. MasterCard’s PayPass technology also works on the same principle.

3. Amex Blue: The American Express Blue has looks and smarts. Its embedded smart chip allows you to store information related to all of your debit and credit cards, store cash in your account, plus conduct secure transactions on the Internet using a reader. The reader connects to your PC and ensures that you are in possession of the card and a PIN number before you are able to make payments online. It also fills out online forms automatically, records your online purchase history, remembers multiple shipping addresses and stores ID and passwords.

4. iCache: Too many credit cards clogging up your wallet? Then this is the gadget for you. The iCache rolls all of your credit cards into one small device. To do this, the device holds magnetic strip signatures from every credit card. The iCache sounds like a prime target for thieves, but don’t worry: it unlocks only with your fingerprint, so there’s no fear of theft.

5. Beepcard’s Secure Card: How would you like a credit card that obeys only the sound of your voice? Beepcard’s Secure Card comes with voice-activated technology that allows transactions only when your voice and password match pre-recorded patterns. If you’re making a transaction on the phone or the Internet, all you have to do is hold your card to the speaker and say your password.

6. The Multifunctional Credit Card All in One: Although not yet a reality, the Multifunctional Credit Card All in One will be an amazing gadget when it comes to fruition. This tool promises to take over the functions of all of your credit and debit cards, remote controls, keys, GPS and video phone. A biometric device, this card is activated using your fingerprint.

7. C’ALL Future Phone: The C’ALL Future Phone takes all of the paraphernalia you keep in your pockets and stores it in one smart gizmo. Besides serving as a music player and camera, it stores all of your credit cards on one magnetic strip that adjusts according to the card you choose. It also acts as both a Mac and PC portable computer, replaces your car and home keys and functions as a GPS, too.

8. RFID-enabled Credit Cards: RFID is rapidly making its way into every aspect of our lives and our credit cards are no exception. Mobile phone giant Nokia is one-upping MasterCard’s PayPass and Chase’s Blink Card by investigating technology that would replace credit cards with an RFID cell phone. This cell phone would take care of all of your payments with just a wave of your hand. All you have to do is be within range of the RFID reader.

9. Fraud Protection Technology: Financial Systems Innovation and Skechers, U.S.A. Inc. have teamed up to develop new technology that, when embedded into credit cards, will help protect against fraud. Card readers generate a unique number for every transaction processed within the system. Using this technology, information relating to the cardholder’s identity can also be omitted from the printed receipt.

10. Holographic Credit Cards: There are two variations of this technology in the pipeline: one based on user fingerprints and the other using a new kind of material. A holograph is created to form a unique pattern that shows up when a laser beam is focused on the card. The card has an optical filter that takes a fingerprint and matches it against one that is already registered with the database. Transactions will only be completed when the fingerprints match. The other technology, developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses a translucent material that is embedded in the card to hold a unique identifier that is almost impossible to copy or tamper with. A laser beam passes through to generate a unique identifier. A small alteration of the beam will generate a totally new pattern, which means that one tag will generate nearly 10 billion unique identifiers.

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