Contactless Visa SmartCards on the Horizon

CNET is reporting that Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are all experimenting with using contactless smartcards to make shopping easier for consumers.

Here’s an idea for Visa: How about working together with Microsoft and some hardware OEMs to make your new smartcards work as secure logins for Windows PCs & Servers? With the reader in-place, you could also allow users to use the contactless cards for e-shopping (note: make sure that commerce sites can’t spoof a login screen to get your payment info, maybe require two swipes separated by 5 seconds to authorize an internet transaction).

If that’s not enough, talk to Ford, GM, Toyota, etc, and get them to let me use my Visa card to unlock and start my car.

Maybe even talk to the folks at Weiserlock and get them to build a Powerbolt model with a reader built in.

Lastly, don’t make it a “card”, make it a fob. Or offer to build it into my phone, or let me wear it as a ring or bracelet.

The way I see it, this is a win-win-win. Consumers get easier identity management for shopping, computing, and even operating thier cars. Visa gets more consumers using thier product instead of cash or other means. Microsoft gets to partner with some big names in the financial and auto industry, and gets to build something better than passwords into Windows, which leads to better security. Everyone gets cheaper smartcard technology when there is a higher production volume.

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