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'On' and 'Off' switch to avoid credit card RFID and NFC theft

20 February 2012

Using near-field communication (NFC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) negates the need to swipe credit cards through an interrogative machine. One has to simply wave the card and the money will be withdrawn from the bank account and the purchases will be made.

However, this could be susceptible to fraud and theft. To prevent this, researchers at Pittsburg Swanson School of Engineering have built an improved method for enhanced security through new credit card design that allows it to turn ‘on’ and ‘off.’

The new technology allows users to simply hold their RFID/NFC credit cards in a specified area, while making the transaction. Holding the switch, will turn on the card and the card automatically turns off, when it returns to a wallet or purse and the contact is discontinued.

"Our new design integrates an antenna and other electrical circuitry that can be interrupted by a simple switch, like turning off the lights in the home or office," says Mickle. "The RFID or NFC credit card is disabled if left in a pocket or lying on a surface and unreadable by thieves using portable scanners." 

"This solution is simple and very inexpensive to integrate into the RFID and NFC credit card manufacturing process," Mickle says. "We have filed a patent application and hope to see the technology quickly adopted, once approved."

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Access Control Systems using Power over Ethernet (PoE) Technology from Borer