When you think of areas needing innovation within the mobile space, the ubiquitous credit card doesn’t immediately come to mind. Still, it’s a piece of technology most of us carry almost every day. Payment by plastic, whether that be debit or credit, hasn’t really changed much in the last two decades. Enter Pittsburgh-based Dynamics. Founded in 2007, the company promises to update what credit cards can do for the better. Dubbed Card 2.0, Dynamic’s product could change the way we pay.
As part of the Card 2.0 platform, each “smart” card has various new tricks up its sleeve. For instance, to cut down on clutter in your wallet, one card can hold multiple accounts. Activating buttons on the card will select a given account, with an LED indicating which service is initiated. Magnetic strips have the ability to be rewritten on the fly as well.
Dynamics also envisions cards that have partially hidden account numbers, requiring users to enter their PIN directly onto the card for added security. To lock down financial data even further, Card 2.0 products have the ability to rewrite a new and unique dynamic security code directly to the magnetic strip after each purchase. This means that even if your card is stolen or your account is hacked, the information will be useless.
Why the Competition Should Care
Dynamics seeks to address a growing need: increased capability and security at point-of-sale. In fact, its technology should fit like a well-placed Tetris block into the existing payment infrastructure of magnetic card scanners and wallets. Card 2.0 products will also play well with the many companies that have entered the emerging mobile payments market, such as Square.
Citibank is onboard to implement Dynamics’ technology as part of a pilot program, and users can expect to get their hands on these high-tech cards by the year’s end. Not content with just revamping the credit card, Dynamics also plans on supporting emerging applications, such as integrated chips in smart phones. However, there is a lot of competition in the mobile payment space, including Intuit, MobilePay USA, and Square. This startup will need to take advantage of shoppers’ comfort level with plastic and get a product out the door soon so that it will be fresh in consumers’ minds when the phone-as-wallet trend really takes off.