Innovative design disables the card when not in use, making it unreadable by criminals with portable scanners.

With new payment methods like NFC and RFID cards comes a need for a new type of security to protect them from thieves. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have designed a way protect contactless credit cards from virtual pickpocketing by allowing the cards to turn ‘on' and ‘off.'

The cards currently operate whenever they are in an electromagnetic field, which means they could be scanned by criminals using portable readers to gain sensitive information or make purchases with your money. This new design means the card would be switched ‘off' while in a wallet or purse and only turns ‘on' when a consumer holds a certain area to connect the circuit. Marlin Mickle, Professor of Engineering and executive director of the RFID Center for Excellence, said:

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