News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Electronic Card with a Programmable Magnetic Stripe", for Approval

June 12, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Goldman, Jordan Chandler (Los Angeles, CA); Auten, Daniel Anthony (Agoura Hills, CA); Leon, Carlos Pizarro (Ovalle, CL), filed on December 9, 2013, was made available online on May 29, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Omne Mobile Payments Llc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to an electronic card and more specifically it relates to an electronic card with a programmable magnetic stripe which is programmed by transferring data from a smartphone for reducing the number of debit, credit and other payment cards in a wallet. A near field communication connection (NFC or RFID) is used for transferring data to and from a smartphone.

"People typically carry around most of their payment cards such as credit and debit cards in a wallet or purse, and to use a particular card, the desired card is selected and then removed from the wallet or purse. Users want a more convenient way to handle their payment cards, but existing solutions all have problems which limit their use. Some companies have tried to solve this by having users load payment information in their phones and pay with near field communication (NFC), barcodes or other wireless signals using their phone. There are many problems with this. One problem is NFC equipped payment terminals are not in common use in the United States. To make NFC (or other wireless methods) popular, NFC equipped payment terminals would need to be available at substantially every merchant in the U.S. This mass deployment will take years and cost billions of dollars. Also, to use a mobile phone as a payment card substitute, a user would be unable to pay if their phone was unavailable, such as out of battery. Also, since payment terminals in places such as restaurants are usually in a back room area, users would have to give other people (such as waiters at a restaurant) their cell phones if they wanted to pay. Security is also a big problem for traditional payment cards and smartphone payment systems. Lost and stolen wallets contribute to a large percentage of credit card fraud. All of these problems and more are solved with the invention described herein."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The invention is an electronic payment card with a form factor similar to a standard credit card and includes a programmable magnetic stripe. It can replace all payment (credit, debit, gift, etc.) cards which are ordinarily carried by a user in a wallet or purse. A battery on the electronic card used to power devices on the card can be recharged wirelessly. The card has the same dimensions as a normal debit/credit card with all electronics built into the card. Associated with the card is a prior art magnetic stripe reader that can connect to a smart phone. After a user has swiped all their current cards into an application installed on the smart phone using the magnetic stripe reader, the magnetic stripe reader is only needed to add more cards or for purposes unrelated to the invention. Alternatively, information for the card can be manually entered by the user using a smart phone application. To use a particular one of the cards which have been swiped or otherwise entered as described above, the user selects the desired card using a smart phone application, and the phone downloads information pertaining to that card which is stored on a server, and then securely transfers the card data to the electronic card. The programmable magnetic stripe can be programmed so to any existing magnetic stripe reader, the programmed magnetic stripe is identical to the one on the original payment card which was selected by the user.

"The device may also store the loaded card information on a secure storage element in the card, a secure storage element in the phone, or both. The device may also store some of the information in a server, some of the information on the phone and some of the information on the electronic card. Since all the information is split up, if one source of the information is compromised, complete credit card data is not exposed since the remaining information needed to make use of the card is still secure.

"A user can also press a recall button on the electronic card which automatically loads the last card that was loaded after a personal code is entered provided the electronic card is near the phone which then contacts the server to download the card information.

"For most cards, no complete credit card information is permanently stored on the card or phone. However, one of the loaded cards can be designated as a default card which is stored and can be used on payment terminals by accessing buttons (touch sensors) used to enter a personal code. In one embodiment of the card, payment card information is stored in a secure storage element inside the card. This is necessary for situations where the phone cannot contact the server to download the card information for any reason. That is, in this situation, the invented electronic card functions as an ordinary credit card, the only difference being that the personal code must first be entered. Although power is also needed, since the charge in the battery is easily maintained as described herein, loss of power is normally not an issue.

"There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, some of the features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter.

"In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction or to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

"Other advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention. To the accomplishment of the above, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described and still be within the scope of the invention.


"Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating the various subsystems forming the present invention.

"FIGS. 2a and 2b are front and backs view of an electronic card used to implement the present invention showing the buttons, LEDs and magnetic band.

"FIG. 3 is a detailed view of coils which form the magnetic band used to function as the magnetic stripe on a traditional payment card.

"FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing the processing performed by a processor on the electronic card used to generate signals which are sent to the coils to enable the magnetic band to emulate the functionality of the magnetic stripe on a traditional payment card."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Goldman, Jordan Chandler; Auten, Daniel Anthony; Leon, Carlos Pizarro. Electronic Card with a Programmable Magnetic Stripe. Filed December 9, 2013 and posted May 29, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Legal Issues, Omne Mobile Payments Llc.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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