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.

  • 2
    bonus point if there is a solution that works also outside of uk Jan 14, 2013 at 11:43
  • 1
    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, 2013 at 11:48
  • You have considered chip-and-pin already, which is (possibly) effective in the U.K.? More here security.stackexchange.com/a/7909/3607 Jan 14, 2013 at 15:57
  • @FeralOink Can chip and pin be used over the internet, specifically to make purchases on web sites? Jan 15, 2013 at 10:47
  • 1
    @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 emue.com/node/11 and with VISA emue.com/node/22 that does allow one to make purchases on websites, even via mobile. How well does it work? Dunno. Jan 15, 2013 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


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).


With respect of phone-text notification of transactions.

I did a search today 2017-04-11, for credit cards offering phone-text notification of transactions. It seems that many in the UK, now, offer this.

However for at least some cards there is a minimum transaction limit of around £25. Therefore you could have hundreds of transactions of <£25 each day, and not find out about them.

On some they do not send texts after 2000hrs, and queue them until some time in the morning.

So we seem to be going in the right direction on this one (though it does not seem that complex, that we could not just arrive).

I would like to see texts at all times (may be an option to disable at night, for those that don't know how to operate auto mute at night on the phone).

I would also like to see if for all amounts, or a summary after a total of £25 of nu-notified transactions, or end of day whichever is first.

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