LAS VEGAS, NEV. (TheStreet) -- If there was a ever credit card that could ease your anxiety about credit card fraud, the new MasterCard (MC) "Hidden," coming to market later this year, would be it.
Developed by technology start-up Dynamics, Hidden is a computer masquerading as a fully functional payment card that works everywhere via swipe, tap, or online entry. And it's a security lover's dream. The card features several layers of protection you won't find on your run-of-the-mill credit card, including even a light that indicates when the card is "on" and usable.
Hidden will be available to consumers at some unspecified date in 2015 but is being shown off by Dynamics CEO Jeff Mullen for the first time Wednesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nev.
"We currently call it the Hidden card ... because it hides your information," Mullen told TheStreet. "There is no personal information on the surface of this card."
So, if someone gets their hands on your card -- and roughly 3% to 5% of cards are lost or stolen every year, Mullen said -- it's no big deal.
In fact, Hidden doesn't even function until you turn it on by entering an unlocking code on the card's included keypad. If you enter the right code, the card number is displayed visually on the front, and also written to the card's magnetic stripe, EMV chip, and contactless chip. When you're done with the card, the display, the stripe, and the chips all are erased.
The new card features two additional security features: a dynamic card number and a dynamic security code, with both changing every time you turn the card on.
"If I go to a merchant and I swipe my card and that data is stolen, they cannot use that data to create a clone card because they don't know what the next number is," Mullen said. "It's really bringing tokenization to mag stripes to protect all mag stripe transactions."
The technology embedded in each card is quite remarkable. The card, said Mullen, has more than 100 components including about a dozen silicon chips and a battery that lasts three years. The company also has its own "certified personalization facility" that is payment-card compliant and is used to program and ship cards direct to consumers.
The Hidden MasterCard, as its brand name suggests, is being developed in partnership with MasterCard, which is also an investor in Dynamics. Dynamics is also partnered with Visa (V) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (CM) , and currently has two computerized credit cards, one from VISA and one from CIBC, available to consumers. The cards allow consumers to swap between different types of cards stored on them each time they pay for something.
Founded in 2007, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Dynamics is a 200-person company and has raised $110 million to put computer technology in credit cards. MasterCard participated in Dynamics' $70 million Series C financing round, announced in December.
In a press release, Carlos Menendez, Mastercard's group executive for global consumer products, said that "MasterCard is determined to offer consumers the best payment experience possible, anytime, anywhere and across all payment forms including interactive cards."
--Written by Jennifer Van Grove in San Diego, Calif.
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