New hybrid card has no customer name

US punters now have access to a hybrid payment card called the Revolution Card.

The hybrid card has the ability to load a line of credit, as well as store up to $15,000 in pre-pay funding from a users' bank account, and is usable both off- and online.

The killer security feature, though, is that the cardholder's name isn't embossed on the card - it's embedded in encrypted format on the magnetic stripe.

This means that anyone lifting the card details from the card itself cannot use the details online, as they don't know the owner's name - although when the transaction is electronically verified, the name entered is verified. A neat security feature.

Plans call for Revolution transactions to have lower fees for merchants and lower interest rates for consumers. The company is charging merchants 0.5 per cent instead of the 1.9 per cent average seen on MasterCard/Visa transactions.

Online payments are free to the merchant, as Revolution claims its security is pretty well unbeatable.

As of this week, the card is accepted by around 100,000 merchants across the US and plans call for a million merchants to be signed up within a year, and seven million by 2010.

Ambitious plans. But if the card is cheap or even free to process for merchants and is flexible for consumers, it could take off.

Visa and MasterCard eat your heart out...