New generation digital credit cards with screens and buttons to be out in 2018

Touch-enabled, locking feature and more but in Japan first

Visa-branded Wallet Card
A Visa credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration taken September 6, 2017 REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Illustration

Credit cards with screens and buttons will soon be made available to the market as announced by American digital payments firm Dynamics Inc and Japanese credit card provider Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co (SMCC) at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas. Deemed to be the world's first credit card with a locking feature, the companies are set to release it first in Japan within the year.

The password-operated card bears LED lights, an LCD and touch-enabled buttons for entering numbers. Like lock capable smartphones, the card will start up once the password set by the user is entered using the touch buttons.

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Setting up this card takes a few seconds only. Once activated, the card number is shown on the display, and the magnetic stripe and IC chip, the brains of the card, remain active so long as the number is on display.

In a joint statement, the companies have noted that the card can be used for in-store payments as well as purchases done online. After it is used, the card number on the display hides and shuts down the IC chip and magnetic card, disabling its function.

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This groundbreaking innovation in the cards industry does not require new payment infrastructure and merchant systems as they are, in fact, ready to be used in terminals and other systems. Consumers can use it in terminals where Visa is accepted.

The card, dubbed by SMCC executive officer Masao Kamino as "world's most secure payment card", is scheduled for release in Japan in 2018. He says, "This new card has adopted an industry-first system, and brings best-in-class security to all payments in-store and online."

This article was first published on January 12, 2018