Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for information security professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have read about how hopelessly insecure credit cards are, and was wondering if there is, in the uk, a provider of either:

  • One time use credit cards.
  • Text me on transaction cards.
  • Pre paid cards: limited exposure.
  • Secure transaction cards ( I suspect these would be incompatible with the existing system)

I have looked into Emue: In Europe there is a product that uses it, Visa CodeSure.

Users input their card number when purchasing online, flip the card over and turn on the screen.

They then input their pin, and a unique one-time-passcode appears on the display, which is used by the cardholder to authenticate the purchase or payment.

So basically, you hand over the keys, then do some other stuff that may deny you access. Your keys (card number) can still be used on the thousands of sites that don't use this scheme.

Also it seems to be a replacement to using a separate card reader, thus going in the wrong direction to allow a usb reader, and automation.

Visa CodeSure does away with these card readers and replaces the current Verified by Visa system for those using the new card.

It also seems to be increasing the amount of techno-junk.

I think it will reduce fraud, however I don't think it will make transactions secure.

share|improve this question
bonus point if there is a solution that works also outside of uk – Olivier Dulac Jan 14 '13 at 11:43
Whilst I'd be extremely interested in this, I fear it might end up being classed as a list question and closed. – Polynomial Jan 14 '13 at 11:48
You have considered chip-and-pin already, which is (possibly) effective in the U.K.? More here – Ellie Kesselman Jan 14 '13 at 15:57
@FeralOink Can chip and pin be used over the internet, specifically to make purchases on web sites? – richard Jan 15 '13 at 10:47
@richard Good point, I didn't notice the internet part of the question! There is also "Chip and signature" which might work, as well as Emue (not emu ;o) see and with VISA that does allow one to make purchases on websites, even via mobile. How well does it work? Dunno. – Ellie Kesselman Jan 15 '13 at 14:58

Here in the UK, Visa offers Pre-paid cards. This means that the cards are completely compatible with the current EMV system in the UK, but you have significantly lower exposure to things like identity theft and card fraud.

These cards are not immune to the above, but they limit how much damage can be done with one. Other providers probably offer similar service, but I've never heard of them.

As for "Secure Transactions", all you'd have to do to overcome the problems with the current EMV system is to disable physical signature authentication on the cards, and force them to fix the pre-play attacks that can be carried out on EMV cards due to faulty implementation, and it'd be fine (Not mentioning fixing the ATMs and the EMV POS devices, but that's less the card's fault, and more the infrastructure's fault).

share|improve this answer
+1 for coming up with an alternative. Have added this alternative to question. – richard Jan 14 '13 at 12:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.