Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop a ’smart’ payment card that can easily be programmed to restrict spending

24.09.2003


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have one-upped "smart" credit cards with embedded microchips: They’ve developed a technique that lets ordinary card users program in their own spending parameters.



Penn computer scientist Carl A. Gunter presented the work at the recent European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming in Darmstadt, Germany. The technology could let employers better manage spending on corporate cards or permit parents to get teenage children emergency credit cards usable only at locations like car repair shops, hotels or pay phones.

"Banks and other card issuers have long been able to set general parameters, such as credit limits," said Gunter, professor of computer and information science at Penn, "but most have little interest in setting finer limits because the process is cumbersome and expensive to manage. We’d like to open up these kinds of additional programming capabilities to ordinary people who’d like to take responsibility for restricting use of a card in some specific way. Users would decide what limits are needed."


Programmable credit cards could let cardholders limit expenditures, for instance, to $100 a day or to spending only on certain days or at certain establishments, Gunter said. The programmable card’s added layer of security could also help cut fraudulent online use of credit cards, which has grown into a significant problem for consumers and industry. The same technology could be used in cell phones that use a smart card, Gunter said, to provide owners with ways to regulate the use of the phone by others.

The programmable card developed by Gunter and his colleagues unites an array of existing technologies, including the microchips first built into credit cards more than 30 years ago. An on-card verification system prevents unauthorized users from tampering with limits programmed in by the card’s rightful owner. A commercial card-reader already on the market plugs into a computer dock, letting users link card and computer to create personalized restrictions using interfaces created by Gunter’s group.

Gunter’s work with programmable credit cards is the latest development in the movement toward open application programming interfaces, which allow users to tinker with the miniature computers embedded in devices from cars to cell phones to personal digital assistants. For example, many cell phones now have open APIs that let users import different ring tones.

"Open APIs are generally a plus for consumers," Gunter said, "because they build in flexibility and allow for a richer array of uses."

Gunter is joined in this research, funded by the National Science Foundation and Army Research Office, by Rajeev Alur, Penn professor of computer and information science, and Alwyn Goodloe, Michael McDougall, Jason Simas and Watee Arjsamat, all of whom are Penn students or staff.

Penn is seeking corporate partners and investors to commercialize this technology. Additional information is available by contacting Jennifer Choy in Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer at 215-898-9273.

Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>