MasterCard Display Card Coming To U.S.—Maybe

MasterCard's display card—which shows a dynamic one-time password, sort of a more secure card verification code to discourage counterfeiting—is moving from its European and Asian trials to the U.S. That said, MasterCard officials were vague about when it would happen.

No matter when MasterCard deploys, it's going to be up to the bank folk as to who is going to use the code and when. Committing will be not easy, given the higher costs, in terms of both the plastic manufacturing and the more elaborate systems needed to take advantage of the security. Without at least Visa's involvement—and potentially at least one other brand, but Visa and MasterCard alone will actually be quite sufficient, market-wise—it's unlikely to gain enough share to justify the retail IT changes needed for deployment. Still, given the huge costs to retailers of bogus payment cards (a common end-result of identity theft), this move is a baby step in the right direction. And a very small baby, at that.