Online security key to embracing smart cards

    Date25 Dec 2000
    3427
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Imagine a single card that lets you purchase and download an airline ticket using your PC. That same piece of plastic could also pay for a restaurant lunch, open secure doors at the office, check out books at the library. It . . . Imagine a single card that lets you purchase and download an airline ticket using your PC. That same piece of plastic could also pay for a restaurant lunch, open secure doors at the office, check out books at the library. It could even become your car keys. Sound like a script from the Jetsons? Not really.

    Such is the promise of smart cards, wallet-sized plastic cards with embedded microchips that major U.S. credit card issuers are rolling out in a big way in the next few months.

    Smart cards, albeit with limited uses, have been popular for years in Europe and parts of Asia and Latin America. The industry says it has shipped more than a billion a year since 1998.

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