Soon your ATM cards will switch numbers every 1 hour

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Over the years credit cards have always enabled us to have access to funds faster so as to quickly pay for goods over the counter or online, this has been a better alternative than going to the bank since with it, we have access to ATM machines, we can call it “the gatekeepers to our funds”.  Although this offers ease of access to funds, it is also a target to fraudsters who have many methods of stealing or copying card details, so as to use your cash on your behalf without you even knowing it.

This is about to stop very soon, because bank cards will be upgraded such that the 3-digit Card Security Code (CSC) found behind the card next to your signature will be switched every 1 hour (60 min). In essence, stealing card details may end up being pointless because 60 minutes after they are stolen they will stop working.

Usually Card Security Code (CSC) are permanently printed on the back of a card. During online checkout you typically have to enter it so as to help confirm that the card is valid. But these details along with the dugits on the front of the card can be easily stolen by fraudsters. To combat this, French digital security company Oberthur Technologies came up with a solution they call MotionCode.

What the MotionCode does is to replace the permanent CSC with a tiny display. After this is done, every hour the 3 digits on the display changes, thereby rendering the old set useless. A fraudster would have at most 1 hour to steal your card details and use them, which even though they have achieved their aim, the added security is still better than none at all.

Although this new technology is still in the works, two French banks (Société Générale and Groupe BPCE) are set to introduce it for their customers. Cards using this new technology by MotionCode doesn’t look different from the same cards we use today, apart from the display they have on the back. The display is powered by a lithium battery and is guaranteed to last beyond the expiry date of the card, so you don’t have to worry about battery problems.


Oberthur Technologies is a French digital security company, providing secure technology solutions for Smart Transactions, Mobile Financial Services, Machine-to-Machine, Digital Identity and Transport & Access Control. As of 2008, Oberthur’s revenue was €882 million. Oberthur Technologies is the successor of the Oberthur printing which was founded in 1842 by the master printer and lithographer, François Charles Oberthur.



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