The Credit Card That Rewrites Itself

This week Dynamics is showing off a new credit card that can rewrite its own magnetic strip on the fly. So you get a card that you have to punch in a code before it can be swiped or before you can read the credit card numbers. After a few minutes, the information erases and it returns to being an inert piece of plastic. Or, for the convenience factor, a card can have multiple credit cards on it. Just push the button of the card you want to use. The future is here and its in your wallet.


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  1. Rocket says:

    That’s pretty awesome! I want one.

  2. qwickone says:

    I’m sure something could go terribly wrong with this technology, but so far it’s sounding good!

  3. DariusC says:

    In other news, replacement fees for credit cards jumped last night…

  4. savvy9999 says:

    sounds neat, but can it go through the wash like my wallet did on Saturday?

    sometimes analog has its advantages.

    • Pyro979 says:

      FTA: Mullen says these cards are as thin and durable as existing dumb cards, down to their capability to survive trips through washing machines.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      He says at the end that it’s water-proof and scratch-proof, so it could probably survive more than a few washings.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    No audio at work. Is there a link to some literature?

  6. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    The question is: Will it be known as The Multipass?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Corbin Dallas Multipass!

      • RobSmalls says:

        She knows it’s a MultiPass!

      • Dopaz says:

        Yeah, multipass, she knows it’s a multipass. Leeloo Dallas. This is my wife.
        We’re newlyweds. Just met. You know how it is. We bumped into each other, sparks happen…
        YES, SHE KNOWS IT’S A MULTIPASS. Anyway, we’re in love.

  7. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    So you get a card that you have to punch in a code before it can be swiped or before you can read the credit card numbers.

    I bet they still make you show your ID even though you know your CC’s PIN.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Don’t you mean “your CCs’ pin”?

      No need to thank me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, someone’s ending a sentence with a preposition! I know it’s a stylistic guideline, but it’s still dastardly!


  8. Skankingmike says:

    so the information is stored via this one card? And I’ll assume it’ll have an RFID chip in it due to the future of express paypass systems.

    Yea nothing wrong with one piece of plastic holding all your info.

    I can’t see how that will go wrong


    All software is hackable. The end.

    • Hawkins says:

      Well, yes, it probably IS hackable: one can imagine devising an attack that would bypass the PIN, and expose the credit card numbers.

      But sometimes some security is better than NO security. The attack on the current generation of credit cards works like this:

      1. Look at card.
      2. Write down number.

      • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:


      • magus_melchior says:

        In an era of skimmers, requiring a PIN for a static number is doing practically nothing to the thieves and yet placing an obstacle in front of the customer– I’m betting 80% of CC thieves don’t need the card when they use a stolen number. If it presented a temporary “random” number akin to Citi’s virtual card numbers, this would be much more difficult to compromise; otherwise, it’s not a whole lotta gain in security for the cost in convenience. Sure, it will cut down on the losses due to theft of physical cards, but why not go for the whole fraud market while we’re at it?

        I suppose I could appreciate having fewer cards in my wallet, but I don’t think the “multi-card” feature will take off anytime soon.

        All that said, the rewritable magstripe is insanely cool.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Yea nothing wrong with one piece of plastic holding all your info.

      Assuming that one only adds the information for the cards they currently carry on a daily basis, how is that different from losing your wallet?

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      Hacking the software just makes the card usable. It doesn’t grant you anything more than what you can currently do with an ordinary card, and much more easily. I’ll take one, please.

    • jamar0303 says:

      Hackable? Counter-example- Sony’s FeliCa system. The de-facto standard for RFID cards in Japan and used in loads of other countries besides, it has yet to see a successful hack demonstrated in any of the systems that use it, including cellphones with linked credit cards via RFID chip (though with the phones there’s an extra layer of security- the phone contacts the carrier and card issuer to check that it’s not been reported lost/stolen before it processes the transaction, it’ll automatically lock down if you switch SIMs, can be set to automatically lock down if you ring it a set number of times, and you can set it to require a PIN).

  9. GC says:

    Given that chip cards should be coming out in the US in the next few years, this product is kind of dumb.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Should be? Next few years?

      “I smell a lot of ‘if’ coming off of this plan.”

      • GC says:

        The rollout is happening right now in Canada. The US can’t be that far behind.

      • Ephraim says:

        It’s not planned for the US. Your credit cards just won’t work anywhere else in the free world… because of course, having a different standard in the US than in the rest of the world is just functional…. like imperial measurements that aren’t imperial… when the rest of the earth is entirely metric. Sounds like a great idea on how to make things more expensive for no reason.

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    A card with buttons in my wallet? Won’t I be pressing them when I sit on my wallet?

    • Woofer says:

      That’s unpossible. In other news, butt-dialing never happened for the last fifteen years.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Maybe it’ll be like touch pads on laptops that somehow only work when you use your finger.

      That or they figure it doesn’t matter because 1) the chance of you accidentally entering in your PIN is small and/or 2) it times out anyway.

  11. denros says:

    Oh boy! Now can you make the interest rate climb as I bury myself further and further into debt?

    Also, is it just me or does that guy have a serious case of trollface in the still image for that video?

  12. Geekybiker says:

    I want!

  13. nbs2 says:

    Of course, which bank gets the coveted logo space? Compound that with my wonky looking Chase/Continental PPC, and design issues will become even more serious.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Of course, which bank gets the coveted logo space?

      I assumed Dynamics gets that space. It’s their card.

  14. xjeyne says:

    This would require a complete overhaul of how retailers attempt to thwart identity theft. At my store, when a customer wants to use a credit card (or run a debit card as credit), the point of sale requires that the last four numbers imprinted on the card to be typed in, and if they don’t match the last four of the number on the magnetic strip we do not take the card.

    I’ve actually prevented a few people from using a Visa gift card that was rewritten with a different account number. The dude tried to say he purposefully had it tied to his bank account and that was why the numbers didn’t match… I wanted to ask if he thought I was born five minutes ago.

    But, yeah, how are retailers going to be able to differentiate? I see that there’s two rows of numbers on the card he has there, but does that mean we’re just going to have to use trial and error? “Oh, let me type in these 4… nope not that one, how about these 4…” Then, of course, all point of sale systems with pinpads will have to be replaced with different pinpads that allow the user to enter the PIN before swiping the card.

    Huge hassle IMO for just a small amount of convenience.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      But, yeah, how are retailers going to be able to differentiate?

      There’s a light that indicates which card number is being used on the multi-account card. You won’t have to guess. As for the card that uses a PIN, the last four numbers stay visible. It’s the numbers in the middle that go away.

      Then, of course, all point of sale systems with pinpads will have to be replaced with different pinpads that allow the user to enter the PIN before swiping the card.

      The user with the CC that requires a PIN enters the PIN on the card itself. It has buttons. This won’t even require a software change for the POS systems. Nothing on that end has to change.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Yeah, because I care about the burden it’s going to put on a cashier in order for me to not have my CC# stolen. Most of the time, you could be a woman using a man’s card with a different name and signature and they don’t even bat an eye. You must work at Lowe’s because that’s the only store I have ever been to that if you run your card as credit, you have to give them the last four digits. This prevents fraud…how?

  15. FrugalFreak says:

    reminds me of Paypals security code card that does the same thing.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      That is an token (could be RSA, not sure who paypal uses). This is a type of two factor authentication (something you have[the token itself], something you know [password/pin/phrase], something you are [biometrics]) Pick any two.

      The token from paypal just displays a number for 60 seconds and then rotates to the next number. It’s a one time password that is only ever valid once, and will never be used again.

  16. NumberSix says:


  17. Big Mama Pain says:

    I like! I just wonder how many more passwords and passcodes my poor feeble brain can take…

  18. keepntabs says:

    The main issue that I noticed about the version of the card that has two accounts is that the name doesn’t change. So, if you have a personal and a business account on the same card, you will have to remember the account numbers to ensure that you are using the correct one.

  19. Ephraim says:

    Of course… since the world, except the US is switching to chip and pin… what’s the point of this new technology? Hey… dynamic cards for thieves! Now they don’t need your physical card, they can just instantly reprogram a card to your magnetic stripe!

    Still won’t work in Europe. Soon won’t work in Canada. Soon won’t work in Mexico….. yeah! Brand new obsolescence.

  20. pokinsmot says:

    I wonder what type of batteries this thing takes. Will it be replaceable, or when the battery is dead, do you have to order another one?

    Either way, very cool!

  21. Difdi says:

    My wallet can be thin again! Yay!!!!

  22. The cake is a lie! says:

    Isn’t this similar to the JCB card which is in use in Japan? Kind of a high tech version of it.