Many banks across the globe now require their customers to log in to online banking services using this small device – a system that is considerably more secure than having a standard username and password log-in.
But having to find that bulky device – and it would seem using them as well – can sometimes be frustrating if you want to quickly transfer some money or simply check your balance. That was, until now.
Visa and the Mastercards of the Universe
In Singapore, Mastercard have recently launched a brand new type of online banking credit card. This new card features an LCD display and a built-in keyboard.
The card’s touch sensitive keyboard, combined with it’s ability to generate the “one-time password” that is used to log in to online accounts – currently created by the device that you plug your card into – have made the days of routing through draws for your device limited.
“We brainstormed on ways to make it convenient and yet secure for customers,” said V Subba from Standard Chartered Bank, which is collaborating with Mastercard on this project.
“The question was: instead of sending customers another bulky token, could we replace something which already exists in the customer’s wallet? That was when credit, debit and ATM cards immediately came to mind.”
But this isn’t the first example of a more secure online experience being condensed into something that fits inside your wallet.
Last Friday, it was announced that Visa would be producing a very similar card, complete with LCD display and touch-sensitive keyboard for accessing online-banking.
However, the major difference is the availability of this card. Whereas the Mastercard example is only available in Singapore as of now – with a worldwide roll out next year – the Visa card is available commercially in Europe.
The Future of Interactive Banking
As space-age as these cards already seem, it would appear that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interacting with our plastic.
According to Mastercard, plans are in motion to add even more information to the cards including; recent transaction history, loyalty points and even the remaining balance in your account.
With all this information available to anyone that’s holding your card, is this a step too far or does it just make for a more efficient system?
And it doesn’t just stop at your cards getting smarter, customers with Nationwide could see their local ATM becoming a much more efficient machine with the introduction of a ‘favourites’ button.
If you were to take out the same amount on a regular basis, your ATM will now remember this transaction and add it into your favourite option. This means that, if you wanted to take out £10 each Friday, all you would have to do is press one button and that amount will be produced, without the need to go through option after option on the screen.
If this changes, the clever machine will register the change and automatically save that as the customers’ favourite option.