Taiwan: A Single Easycard Tap

It’s called the Easycard; And the Taiwanese are using it for everything.

From, the BBC:

Beep, and a smart card gets you on a bus.

Beep, and the same card opens your office door. Beep, and you buy your coffee at a corner shop. Beep, you pay for parking, open the exit gate. Beep, check out a library book.

Beep. Beep. Beep. At school or university, the card becomes your ID.

The country’s mass adoption of tap and go, RFID technology has created a utility for the single piece of plastic. But there are security concerns, as well as reasons that the smart card hasn’t spread past Asia.

No doubt, the Easycard is ripe for hacking.

Once somebody hacked one of the cards and loaded it with more – fake – money. As soon as the card was used, the company spotted the fraud and alerted police.

The second-generation card, launched in 2012, has a chip similar to modern credit cards.

It protects all data with a long encryption key and is much harder to hack, says Mr Chang.

Security is more of an issue when the Easycard is also used as an ID card. Then it shows the owner’s name and picture – and it could allow an intruder into your office.

Does that mean that Americans could start seeing such a smart card being used?

Why not.

Just like new payment technologies here, in the U.S., the card was first piloted on mass transit systems (read: ISIS partnerships with transportation authorities in Austin and Salt Lake City).

Indeed, the technology is already readily available, domestically.

American Express’ digital wallet Serve certainly encorporates this idea using a prepaid mag stripe card. PayPal has also promoted the thought with its push into the real world — users can now fund their virtual wallets using any number of payment methods. Square, too, is a proponent of this method.


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