SENIOR researchers from Ireland's largest IT centre claim to have invented an unbreakable security seal for credit cards that could help deal a major blow against credit card fraud.
The researchers, from Cork's Tyndall Institute, have developed a unique hologram that is contained within a small sticker tag. The tag will cost no more than 15 cents per card to credit card firms, and is being described as a breakthrough in anti-piracy technology.
"It's the holy grail of anti-counterfeit technology," said Dr Aidan Quinn (pictured), one of the lead researchers on the project with Dr Micheal Burke and Dr Mary Manning. "The idea is to make it unclonable or at least to make it prohibitively expensive to clone. We have created a unique signature that will make it almost impossible for counterfeiters to replicate."
Last year, an estimated €20m was lost in Ireland due to credit card fraud, with €3m of this caused by 'skimming', a practice where cards are physically copied.
Dr Quinn said that there has been "strong" interest from major companies and industry organisations. He said that the technology is being trialled with several companies at present. He also said the technology is applicable for other purposes.
"The technology would be readily applicable to credit cards, medical devices and pharmaceutical products," said Dr Quinn.