Payment cards: Now the card speaks!

The next generation of the ISO card: acoustic cards as an alternative to NFC increase the security level of mobile payment applications
(PresseBox) (Lüneburg, ) Know today what will be important tomorrow!The next generation of the ISO card: acoustic cards as an alternative to NFC increase the security level of mobile payment applications

The next generation of payment cards provides a range of new functionalities by integrating electronic components into the ISO Format. There are fingerprint cards without a battery, with flexible PCB card designs, e-paper displays with Dot-matrix, and batteries that recharge via NFC. Technically, these are all viable options, as Yiwen Jin, B-Id explains. With partners, the company is working simultaneously on several innovative developments and projects. Acoustic cards, the next evolution of payment cards, are already in the starting blocks. The card interacts with the smartphone using an integrated speaker and microphone and offers - as an alternative to NFC - the high-security communication feature of a smart card for mobile payment applications.

Yiwen Jin, CEO, B-Id, interviewed by „RFID im Blick“

In the future, a card will be able to perform a lot more. „To integrate a variety of electronic components in the card media, however, is highly complex, especially as the ISO format has a limited size for electronic components such as a fingerprint sensor,“ explains Yiwen Jin, CEO, B-Id. Technically, there are many viable options which are ready for mass production.

Fingerprint cards soon with an alternative energy supply

In practical use, fingerprint cards - whether with a contact chip and / or contactless chip - are already a secure identification means for money transactions or for access control. The principal advantage of the fingerprint sensor card is: there is no PIN entry and up to six fingerprints can be stored on it. B-Id provides fingerprint cards with and without a battery and already has developed alternatives. Yiwen Jin, CEO, B-Id explains: „In order to read and store the fingerprint on contactless cards, the power of an NFC reader, for example, is sufficient. There are applications however, for example when money is withdrawn at the ATM, where additional power is needed to check the fingerprint before moving the card into the slot. B-Id has found an alternative energy source for contactless cards and already produces the first cards with this alternative new component,” says Jin without revealing any additional details.

Acoustic cards for secure mobile payment

Another innovation has come from the development department of B-Id: acoustic cards used in combination with mobile phones that can be a safer alternative to NFC cards. “Acoustic communication has a high level of security, comparable to biometric fingerprints. So, the technology is predestined for mobile payment applications” explains Yiwen Jin. The main elements of the cards are a security chip, a microphone and a speaker. Using the acoustic signal, the card can communicate in both directions to the mobile device and triggers the authentication process: the phone sends the acoustic signal to the card, the microphone in the card receives the signal and the security chip demodulates the signal for further use. The security chip then sends the modulated information to the speaker of the card, which sends the signal to the microphone of the mobile phone. “The second generation card has been completed for the ISO standard that already includes an NFC interface. There are plans to integrate Bluetooth in a further step. To make this viable, however, the components must be even smaller,” says the expert.

Read the complete interview at "RFID im Blick" Online.

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