News Column

"Security Aspects of a Self-Authenticating Credit Card" in Patent Application Approval Process

July 31, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventor Johnson, Simon (Bonney Lake, WA), filed on January 4, 2013, was made available online on July 17, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Credit cards are ubiquitous with monetary transactions. They are used in a number of scenarios to purchase groceries, restaurant meals, retail/online products, gas, or just about anything. Most often a cash or check transaction can be replaced with a credit/debit card.

"False charges create a tremendous burden on financial institutions and card holder alike. A lost or stolen card can easily be used by an unauthorized user to make purchases. Within several hours of obtaining a lost or stolen card, a thief can fraudulently charge thousands of dollars before a notification process can stop use of the card.

"Some safeguard procedures have been put into place: 1. Retail clerk verifies customer signature matches that on the back of card. 2. Retail clerk verifies customer ID matches the name on card. 3. Authorization center uses sophisticated buying profiles to identify a potentially unauthorized purchase.

"These safeguard procedures are not always performed at the point of sale, for example, a gas purchase. Many retail outlets do not require a signature for authentication with purchases under $50, nor does the retail clerk check the card carrier's ID.

"There is accordingly an unmet need in the art to provide additional security to the use of credit cards while using the existing underlying infrastructure without changes.

"An example of a prior art device is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,954,133, entitled Biometric smart card, biometric smart card reader, and method use issued Oct. 11, 2005, to Travis M. McGregor et al. McGregor claims an alternate means of exchanging data between authenticating bank and card to make transactions more secure.

"Another example of a prior art device is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,667,087, entitled Secure Credit Card, issued May 19, 1987 to Max A. Quintana. Quintana teaches a means of obscuring critical account information until a user PIN is supplied.

"It is the goal of the present invention to use the policies and equipment of existing infrastructure for credit card purchases. In addition, the present invention provides a means of managing internal account data of a credit card to prevent unauthorized use."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention relates generally to credit cards/tokens and more particularly to a means of providing an additional layer of security to existing credit cards.

"The apparatus and system according to the present invention provides a credit card with a display and integrated input mechanism that is electrically connected to a micro-controller equipped with internal memory. A user PIN is entered via the input mechanism and used to decrypt account data stored within the micro-controller's memory. The decrypted account data is then rendered on the integral display and sent to a transaction terminal when making a purchase.

"Certain embodiments of the invention have other aspects in addition to or in place of those mentioned above. These aspects will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description when taken with reference to the accompanying drawings.

"Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.


"FIG. 1 schematically depicts a self-authenticating credit card with an integrated microcontroller, an integrated human interface device ('HID'), and an integrated output display.

"FIG. 2 represents a state diagram showing the different states of a self-authenticating credit card.

"FIG. 3 represents a flow diagram showing processes of the micro-controller when a user changes their PIN."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Johnson, Simon. Security Aspects of a Self-Authenticating Credit Card. Filed January 4, 2013 and posted July 17, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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