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Innovations and Payment Systems

Credit card technology reduces the number of cards you carry

Imagine lessening the number of credit cards you carry around.  If your credit card-stuffed wallet is among the many carried by Americans that looks like it needs to go on a diet, a new device called iCache could help. 

Compare Low Interest Credit CardsiCache, which was unveiled at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show, allows consumers to store data from all their credit cards, debit cards and nearly any other card that uses a bar code or magnetic stripe on a “universal card.”  The concept device includes the iCache itself and a universal card. 

Users need to first register all their credit card and debit card information online, and then insert the universal card into the device.  Later, when users are out and about with their iCache, they choose the desired credit card or debit card from a menu on the device’s screen, which then puts the selected card’s data onto the universal card.  The universal card then temporarily acts as the card they have chosen.

As for security, the loaded credit card or debit card data disappears after 10 minutes.  Additionally, the credit card information gets encrypted, while the iCache itself can only be used after scanning your fingerprint onto the device’s biometric scanner.  

In terms of looks, the iCache resembles the extremely popular iPod mp3 player and appears to be larger than a small stack of credit cards.  It is also able to display barcodes and communicate information with contactless card terminals.

At present the iCache company is working to get credit card companies and banks interested in the concept.  There is currently no information as to when the device will be available to consumers.

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Published: January 11, 2007

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