Creative way to beat fraud

LEEDERVILLE-BASED start-up Creative On-Line Technologies is developing the next generation of smart card technology that uses infra-red, finger prints and one-off transaction numbers in an attempt to wipe out credit card and identity fraud.

The technology is the brainchild of CEO Michael Ong, who started the company in 2001 after falling victim to credit card fraud.

Prompted to develop a more secure way of banking, Mr Ong created a system that he says is far more advanced than any smart card technology currently available. It will have applications in other fields, such as the medical industry, he says.

The company has filed several international patents and expects the system to be available for implementation at test sites early next year.

Called the ‘intelligent card’, the physical size of the card is similar to the existing credit cards, and is used as a tool in the secure transaction system the company has created, called Zipfund.

Activated by the owner’s fingerprint, the card contains a microchip, an LCD screen and a number pad.

The system uses infra-red to read the information stored on the card and the details are transferred through a USB port to a computer system where the information is encrypted and passed through a dedicated high-speed line.

Mr Ong says the current magnetic strip credit cards are outdated and easy for fraudsters to exploit.

The intelligent card and Zipfund will make current systems obsolete through the range of security features that are incorporated in the technology, he says.

“The credit card was introduced in the 1950s but it was never designed for use on the Internet,” Mr Ong says. “What we have designed is a whole new system that we have built from the ground up.”

Mr Ong is expecting a rapid uptake of the new technology when it has been proven through test sites. He says several WA universities have expressed interest in implementing the system.

The invention is a world first, Mr Ong says, and if it proves successful, the company will be the first in the world to market technology through the use of franchises.

Creative On-Line Technologies is now seeking government grants to further develop and market the technology and it has established partnership alliances with IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems to assist in the product support and global marketing.

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