Visa Launches CodeSure Matrix Display Cards


Visa has improved credit cards with a built-in keypad and LCD screen for two-factor authentication

Visa is offering a radically different payment card which goes beyond “chip & pin“. The CodeSure Matrix Display cards incorporate a keypad and an LCD panel to eliminate the need for passcode-generating personal card readers which banks increasingly require their online customers to use.

Personal card readers have been issued by several banks to allow payment card users to generate passcodes which provide the second step in two-factor authentication for online banking access. This is inconvenient extra baggage when a user is travelling and quite costly for the card-reader issuer.

Adding electronics into the new CodeSure cards, without significantly increasing the thickness of the card, offers a convenient, cheaper alternative. A small LCD window allows the user to switch the device between several modes and also displays the passcodes generated.

Card can verify phone calls

Another advantage is that the user can verify calls from the bank by validating a number provided by the bank verbally and the bank can similarly validate the customer without asking banal questions about mother’s maiden name, postcodes and birthdates.

Riten Gohil, senior business lead for CodeSure at Visa Europe, said, “The new cards are multi-channel devices which can be used for different applications. Apart from banking features, such as Visa access and bank account access, the issuer can choose to assign a button as, for example, Access which would allow the user to sign on to a company VPN for secure access. This would mean that a single card could be used as a company credit card and a passcode device for remote network access.”

This steps on the toes of companies such as RSA with its SecurID cards and keyfobs. The corporate CodeSure card would provide the “something you have” element for two-factor authentication. The advantage, Gohil said, is that an employee is less likely to forget or lose a credit card than a single-purpose token device.

The cards are just coming out of their beta phase and have been tested in the UK by Barclays and other companies. Gohil could not say if Barclaycard will use the new technology for personal customers, but it has issued a corporate card version for business customer Deloitte.

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