In the war against credit card fraud, a new smart credit card promises to offer consumers better security against the increasing threat of data breaches. This new card goes by the name Final, and its existence is the direct result of the fraud that occurred at Target and other retailers in recent years.
The co-founders of the Final card include Matt Rothstein, Aaron Frank and Andrew Dietrich, who were among the millions of consumers impacted in the 2013 Target data breach – the largest consumer data hack in history.
After having their financial data compromised, these entrepreneurs got together and decided to create a more secure credit card payment method. With their expertise in information technology and mobile payments, they gathered a team and set themselves a lofty goal – to change how credit cards are used by improving the technology that goes into them.
The evolution of the credit card
By now most of us have heard of the changes coming to the credit card industry, namely the new EMV or chip and pin feature, which will become the norm by 2015. EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the developers of the smart chip technology that goes into these new cards.
While chip and pin credit card technology is more secure than the magnetic strips on existing cards, the founders of Final decided to take it a step further. The Final card includes all of the security features that smart chip technology offers, but it adds a unique feature.
Users of the Final card have the ability to generate multiple card numbers and store them on their card’s memory chip. These card numbers can be tailored for specific stores, have different spending limits and can even be set for a one-time use.
That way, if a card number is compromised, its use is limited to the parameters for that number only. Further, the number can be cancelled without cancelling the card or any of the other numbers.
What this means for consumers
The ability to assign different card numbers to different transaction types is a huge advantage for credit card users. First, it limits the exposure to fraud or misuse. Also, cardholder data which can be retrieved from magnetic strip cards is protected in these new cards by security algorithms.
Currently the U.S. leads the world in credit card fraud. Many countries around the world, including almost all of Europe, have already switched to the new smart card technology. In the U.K for example, the switch from magnetic strip to chip and pin resulted in a 75 percent drop in credit card fraud.
In addition to the fraud protection that will be provided with these new Final cards, they also offer users a better way of tracking spending patterns.
With apps that help in budgeting, instant payment receipts and a wealth of other features, the Final card gives cardholders more control over their transactions than ever before.
Adoption of the new final cards
Final has recently received $1 million in funding from a group of angel investors looking to help the company roll out its new cards. Initially the cards will be issued to a limited number of users who sign up for early access on the company’s website. The first cards are expected to be available by the spring of 2015.
So far nearly 40,000 people have signed up in advance for the Final card, and the company expects that number to rise as the rollout date nears. In the meantime, the major credit card issuers in the U.S. are moving forward with smart card plans of their own – but none so far have the Final card’s unique consumer-focused features.
Can’t wait for the new Final card to arrive in your wallet? Check out our selection of excellent credit cards instead.
Photo credit: getfinal.com, bizzvenue.com
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.