This is a bank key that would be used in places where evil skimmers are usually found, like ATMs and gas pumps. It has a number of security features beyond its key shape. Do check it out after the jump!
First things first, there is no magnetic stripe. I believe those are being phased out worldwide. This wouldn’t replace plastic cards outright, it would just be handy for ATMs and gas pumps, and any other unattended merchant points, like self check-outs at the store.
Here it is in action:
- The key is inserted into the keyhole (either orientation). If there is anything inside of the keyhole, or in front of the keyhole, the key will not turn. Everyone will have the same key shape, the key function is simply to check for any foreign objects, and to prohibit any transactions if there is a foreign object present.
- Once the key is turned 90 degrees (left or right), it moves a front panel that covers the front 2 chip readers. The key can now be fully inserted into three chip readers, including one inside the keyhole. If the key cannot be turned, the chips will not be inserted into any of the chip readers.
- The front panel has flaps and scrapers to prevent any foreign object from trying to reside near the front chip readers.
- Instead of one security chip, this key has three. One in the tip of the key, and two in the “fob” housing. Banking information is divided among these three chips, so any skimmer would have to steal info from all three chips to get a complete picture. A skimmer may be able to get something into the reader inside the keyhole, but the other two readers would be extremely difficult.
- The key is now plugged in, you can take your hand off it while you bank or fill up the gas tank of your car.
- Not shown: the pins for the tumbler lock.
Because of the depth of the keyhole, and the key mechanism, it would be extremely difficult to place a lookalike skimmer (with the same functionality) over top of this.
Dynamic PIN Numbers:
Instead of sticking to the same 4-digit PIN number indefinitely, I propose one that evolves on a daily basis, using the calendar. Here are some examples:
- Today is Friday, which has 6 letters. It is May, the 5th month. The fourth digit is always 7. Your PIN today is 6-0-5-7.
- It is the 27th today. Third digit is always 8. It is Tuesday, the third day of the week. Your PIN today is 2-7-8-3.
- Today is Wednesday, which has three vowels. Second digit is always 4. It is the year 2019, so the last two digits are 19. Today’s PIN is 3-4-1-9.
- First digit is always 4. It is February, there are 28 days this month. It is Thursday, which has 5 letters before “day”. Today’s PIN is 4-2-8-5.
You’d tell the bank how you want each of your digits to be configured. My hope is that card scammers would have to use your PIN on the very day they intercepted it, or they would have to intercept your card on several occasions to “crack the code”.