American Express Blue: The Smart Credit Card

By: Devin Gilliland

1999 heralded the start of a series of ground-breaking credit card innovations, with American Express consistently as the pioneer. The first modernized product - the RFID embedded Blue from American Express credit card - was a winner, not only because of the technology, but also because of the compelling features this card offered to consumers.

Four years later, the smart card features of the Blue from American Express credit card were augmented by another industry first: ID KeeperSM, a smart card application designed specifically for their Blue from American Express credit card.

Smart Card Benefits

There are primarily two benefits associated with using the smart card technology of your Blue from American Express credit card, namely security and convenience.

Security: Credit card fraud is prolific, with the largest incidence affecting remote transactions such as those you conduct over the internet. The problem with magnetic card technology is that it is easy to copy and that it is not encoded. Your Blue from American Express credit card smart chip uses advanced encoding methods and is nearly impossible to tamper with. When you use it with your Smart Card Reader to do internet transactions, your transaction is authenticated at least twice and you completely eliminate internet threats such as "Man in the middle" and "Trojan Horses" that record and rerun user names and passwords.

Convenience: The chip on your Blue from American Express credit card stores your personal details. Hence, you no longer need to fill out forms if you don't want to. The chip can perform that service on your behalf. The smart chip also keeps track of your favorite web sites and the applicable login details. Over and above being convenient, this also ensures that you end up on the real, and not on a purposely fraudulent website.

Activating the Smart Card Service

To take advantage of the smart card capabilities of your Blue from American Express credit card, you need to purchase a Smart Card Reader from American Express for a nominal fee. The smart card reader is a peripheral device that you connect to your PC or notebook.

To download the software, you simply insert your Blue from American Express credit card into the reader and follow the instructions on the screen. During setup, you will be able to create your own personalized profile with your preferred shopping URLs, login details for the various sites, and the other details you would normally supply when concluding an internet transaction with your Blue from American Express credit card. You will also be asked to create a PIN code for additional security.

Interestingly enough, and in spite of escalating internet fraud, Americans are lagging behind their European and Asian counterparts in engaging with the smart card capabilities embedded in the Blue from American Express credit card. It certainly is worth reconsidering your position if you have not yet obtained a reader and the ID KeeperSM software. Whilst the fraud protection you enjoy as a part of your Blue from American Express credit card package will ensure that you are not left out of pocket, there is - amongst other things - the inconvenience of dealing with a fraud claim to take into account.

Smart cards are here to stay and they will be getting better and better. Don't be too surprised if a credit card with an in-built biometric chip (fingerprint reader) soon appears on the market: these smart cards are undergoing testing at this very moment. In fact, don't be too surprised either if the first to launch this type of credit card is American Express. With their continuous drive to keep adding value to their customers through leveraging technology, chances are good that they will!

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