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Innovations and Payment Systems

Security-conscious GratisCard shows no personal information

Summary

The GratisCard credit card will show no personal information and uses a PIN number for transactions.

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The new GratisCard is a credit card that shows none of the cardholder’s personal information on the plastic itself, helping to prevent any fraudulent use should the card get lost or stolen.  The GratisCard, which debuts on April 1, 2007, does not feature a name, card number or physical data on the actual credit card.

Additionally, the GratisCard will be the first U.S. credit card to make use of PIN numbers for all credit transactions.  This type of authentication is already widely supported in Europe through what is known as Chip and PIN technology, which is said to be much safer than signature-based transactions.

The GratisCard payment card company is being launched by AOL founder Steve Case and Revolution Inc., Case’s investment company.

GratisCard will mainly target merchants like fast food restaurants that process low-cots payments.

Research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. noted that GratisCard does not necessarily compete with credit card powerhouses like Visa and Mastercard.

A Gartner analyst said the credit card is designed for consumers with bad credit to medium credit and features simple technology to make the credit cards anonymous as well as useless in the event of theft.

Meanwhile, merchants will appreciate the notably lower interchange fees charged for the GratisCard, the analyst added.

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Published: March 13, 2007

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