Credit cards with hour-to-hour changing security codes launched in France

The Motion Code card has a display which changes the three-digit security code every hour
The Motion Code card has a display which changes the three-digit security code every hour

A credit card with a digital display that randomly generates a security code is being launched as a way of combating fraud.

Oberthur Technologies is currently in discussions with UK banks about rolling out the technology and will have cards “in the hands” of consumers in France by the end of the year.

Credit card fraud costs banks millions of pounds each year. One expert said a different design for credit cards was overdue.

“In some ways, it’s surprising it has taken so long for this to appear,” Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert from Surrey University, told the BBC.

The card provides an extra layer of security by replacing the static printed three-digit security code on the back of the card with a mini screen which displays a random code that changes automatically every hour.

It is powered by a thin lithium battery designed to last for three years.

“The technology has existed for some time so now it will be a case of persuading card processors that it is worth doing,” said Prof Woodward.

“It may be costly for card operators as some extra infrastructure will be required to ensure our cards stay synchronised with the operator, but it happens already for many banks with the dongles they issue for login.”

One drawback of the card is that customers will no longer be able to memorise their security code and will need to check the card every time they want to make an online purchase.

French banks Societe Generale and Groupe BPCE are preparing to roll the cards out to customers, following a pilot scheme last year and there are also pilot schemes in Mexico and Poland.

According to the UK’s Financial Fraud Action, credit card fraud in the UK totalled £755m in 2015 and the Office for National Statistics said that there were 20,255 victims.

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