Innovation That Matters

Credit card with changing numbers protects customers against fraud

Government & Defence

The Final credit card promises to end the inconvenience caused by payment card fraud, by generating a new card number every time it's used.

Global payment card fraud is a huge problem, costing upwards of USD 14 billion a year. But this also makes it an area ripe for innovation, and a new credit card from finance start-up Final now promises to protect its customers against fraud and the inconveniences it causes — by disposing of the traditional 12 digit card number altogether.

The Final card already has 37,000 consumer requests for early access awaiting a pilot program which will launch later this year. In essence, it is a physical chip and PIN card, which can be used to pay for offline and online purchases. However, rather than relying on a single sequence of numbers as previous cards have — leaving the consumer vulnerable to fraud — the Final card generates a new card number for every vendor it is used with. This means that if there is a security breach at one merchant, the consumer’s relationship with other merchants is not affected — so they don’t need destroy their existing card, re-enter their details or be without a payment card for any length of time.

Although previous schemes have experimented with temporary, unique card numbers in the past, the Final card is different in a number of ways. Users can control their account via the Final website or app, choosing to create a disposable number for one off transactions or a multi-use number for places they return to regularly. If they wish to, they can then set spending limits for each card number. The card also tracks transactions, flagging up anything out of the ordinary and informing the user by text message.

We have seen other financial products such as Wallaby and Plastc which aim to lighten consumer’s wallets by condensing multiple cards into one. Are there other reinventions of the credit card which could help increase security for consumers?



Download PDF