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Redemption credit card puts points toward purchases, is destined to frustrate

Darren Murph

Look up. That credit card right there is a brilliant concept that'll likely cause quite a few headaches in practice. Dynamics, which makes its ends by coming up with new ways to get the general populace into more debt, has just made public its Redemption payment device -- a newfangled card with a few LEDs, selectors and the ability to let users put their earned points toward any given purchase. The idea goes a little something like this: you roll up to the Old Navy checkout counter, remember that you have 4,300 points logged, and decide that you'd like to cash 'em in towards the purchase of your new threads. You tap the "Request Rewards" side of your card, swipe it and watch as your points balance and total monies owed dwindles. Currently, Citi is trialing these with a small group of consumers, with a larger US trial expected to get going next month. There's no mention of how the LEDs stay lit (or how the battery stays charged), nor any indication of how long these selector buttons will hold up over time. We also have no idea how you'll be able to easily check your point balance or split payments between points and dollars, but hey, at least there's a beautiful opportunity here for an accompanying mobile app.

Gallery: Dynamics Redemption credit card | 3 Photos

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Dynamics Debuts Next-Generation Payment Card with Options for Credit and In-Store Point Redemption

Citi Cards Reveals Consumer Pilot
FinovateFall 2010

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FINOVATE – Dynamics Inc., an innovator in next-generation payment devices, today reveals its Redemption™ payment device in a card form-factor. The payment card with the option for in-store point redemption is another Payments 2.0® application built on Dynamics' Card 2.0® technology. Redemption™ allows consumers to pay at the point of sale with credit or request to redeem their reward points or cash rewards toward the purchase of any item at any merchant. The company is demonstrating this ground-breaking payment device today at FinovateFall 2010, a conference showcasing innovations in financial and banking technology.

"We created a device with a very elegant user interface that offers consumers a very natural, yet functional, experience"

Redemption™ has been in trials with a small number of Citi credit card customers since May 2010. Citi expects to expand the trial with select U.S. credit card customers this November.

Terry O'Neil, Executive Vice President at Citi Cards, said, "Citi is committed to bringing innovative solutions to market that provide our customers with greater choice, control and flexibility to help them better manage their money. Today we are announcing a consumer trial program that will use Dynamics' technology to put the power of choice in the customer's hands, with the simple press of a button. By piloting this technology, we've essentially created a new way for consumers to redeem their reward points. With the simple press of a button and swipe of their Citi card, consumers can choose to use their points toward their purchase."

"Citi is at the forefront of embracing and executing new technologies that bring extreme value to consumers," said Jeff Mullen, CEO of Dynamics. "Never before has an issuer brought this type of capability to market, one that allows consumers to choose at the point-of-sale to use points that they've earned."

Redemption™ will work at any merchant where magnetic stripe readers are used. The face of the device is printed with a single credit account number and includes two buttons with associated light sources. A user can choose whether to use points or use credit at the point of sale by pressing the appropriate button. The card will then visually indicate the selection by turning ON the light source associated with the selected option. The magnetic-stripe information associated with the payment option is then written to the Electronic Stripe™. The card can then be swiped at any magnetic stripe reader and the information is then received and processed by Citi.

"We created a device with a very elegant user interface that offers consumers a very natural, yet functional, experience," added Mullen.

In September 2010, Dynamics unveiled two other Payments 2.0® applications: MultiAccount™ and Hidden™. MultiAccount™ is directed to the convenience-oriented consumer and includes multiple payment accounts on a single card. A user simply presses a button associated with a particular payment account to activate the card. Hidden™ is directed to the security-conscious consumer and includes five buttons on the face of a card with a portion of the cardholder's account number hidden by a paper-thin flexible display. A user must use the buttons to enter a personal unlocking code in order to display the hidden numbers to activate the card.

About the Technology

Dynamics' Payments 2.0® applications are all built on its Card 2.0® technology platform. Card 2.0® is a paper-thin, flexible computing platform in a payment card form factor. The device includes the Electronic Stripe™ -- the world's first fully card-programmable magnetic stripe. The Electronic Stripe™ can be read at any existing point-of-sale (POS) magnetic stripe reader. The device itself can change any bit of information on this programmable stripe at any given time. The technology does not require any change to the 60 million 1970s-era magnetic stripe readers or reeducation of its merchant base. The device is designed to be as thin, flexible, and durable as a traditional payment card and last over three years on a single battery charge. Countless applications can be realized with the Card 2.0® platform technology and are referred to as Payments 2.0® applications.

About Dynamics Inc.

Dynamics Inc. was founded and seeded in 2007 by Jeff Mullen, its CEO. Dynamics produces and manufactures intelligent powered cards such as advanced payment cards. Focused on introducing fast-cycle innovation to top card issuers, the company's first commercial application is the world's first fully card-programmable magnetic stripe for use in next-generation payment cards. The company has won many of the world's most prestigious international business plan competitions, including the Rice Business Plan Competition, Carnegie Mellon McGinnis Venture Competition and the University of San Francisco Business Plan Competition. The company recently won DEMOgod and the $1MM People's Choice Award at Demo Fall 2010. Dynamics is backed by Adams Capital Management and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa. with offices in Silicon Valley and New York City. More information on the company, its technology and applications can be found at

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