This simple design change for credit cards may be unnecessary as major credit card issuers plan to require the use of PIN numbers for all transactions in the near future. Is it possible that the on/off switch could be used in conjunction with PIN cards?
Researchers at the Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering are working on a simple new technology that would require customers to place their finger on the card to turn it “on” when they pay. When you place your finger on a specific spot on the card, say a logo or icon, it would complete a circuit and enable readers to charge the card. If the circuit isn’t complete, the card’s NFC or RFID technology would be disabled. “Our new design integrates an antenna and other electrical circuitry that can be interrupted by a simple switch, like turning off the lights in the home or office,” explains professor Marlin Mickle in a statement. “The RFID or NFC credit card is disabled if left in a pocket or lying on a surface and unreadable by thieves using portable scanners.”