This October, the United States will hopefully be fully converted to EMV card security, a system designed to combat fraud and identity theft, which has hit major chains like Target as of the last few years. A group of people who were victims of that data breach responded to the problem by forming a startup that would offer EMV credit cards with multiple different numbers so they wouldn’t be as prone to fraud. The company is called Final, and on Jan. 27 it announced that they received $1 million in seed money from angel investors, with a 2015 release date planned for their credit card, according to TechCrunch.
Final was founded over a year ago by a collection of professionals from the IT and mobile payment communities, as well as a variety of startups. Having been victims of the Target data breach of 2013, which saw their credit cards abruptly shut off, they banded together to try and create a better credit card that wasn’t as prone to fraud, but also created better interactions between consumers, merchants, and financial partners.
The product they came up with is an EMV credit card that can generate multiple numbers at the consumer’s request, with different spending and usage limits that can be individually tailored to the consumer’s habits, even to the point where a set of numbers can be for just one specific purchase. By having multiple numbers for specific transactions, it mitigates the damage that one data breach can do to a consumer’s bank account, while enabling them to use their other credit numbers should the card get shut down, as the founders’ cards were in 2013.
While this is not new technology, since a similar multiple number generating system was attempted — and later discontinued — by Discover and Paypal, the founders believe it is worth bringing back. According to Consumerist and Quora, earlier incarnations of this technology never caught on due to low user interactions and a lack of understanding over the impact of credit fraud. Now, with the help of Final’s mobile and Web-based apps and plugins, and fraud very much on the minds of businesses and consumers alike, investors see an opportunity for this to succeed.
Currently, 37,000 people have already signed up for the credit card, which can be done similar to other credit card signups on Final’s website.