|Enter the smart chip, a new type
of credit card. It's called smart for a reason. This small card
can store 100 times more information about you than a magnetic
strip ever could. Makers say it's about as foolproof as on-line
shopping can get. This is VISA's president and CEO:
Carl Pascarella, VISA: "The information is encrypted
at the point of transaction, so that offers a higher level
of security as well."
Compaq computers is jumping in, too. Their new keyboard has
a special slot for the smart card. Here's how it works. If
you've ever ordered anything on-line, you know the drill:
Type in your card number, expiration date, and go. The smart
card is different: You literally have to unlock the card,
and prove it's you, before you buy. That keeps impostors away.
Since it stores so much information, the computer will store
your pin number, like an ATM card so, you have to be with
the card to use it.
Will Townsend, Compaq Computer Corp.: "Today there about
50 emerchants who have that plug-in installed. That list is
growing exponentially month by month."
It's not just Compaq in the game, other companies are working
on the same technology- portable chip readers that will come
to the market soon. It works the same way: you plug it into
the back of your computer, take your smart chip card, and
Sree Sreenivasan, Computer Expert: "What they're doing
is saying, 'people are used to using credit cards and are
comfortable with that- let's see if we can try a mix of the
old way and the new way.'" When you buy a Compaq Presario
5000 or 7000, you'll get the new keyboard. Millions of smart
cards are out there already, and executives hope millions
more will flood the market this year.
Last Updated: Aug 8, 2001