Step aside Steve Jobs, it looks like Citibank is next to introduce one of the biggest technological-design innovations. Citibank previewed their plans to debut a programmable credit card during the Consumer Electronics Show, which took place this past weekend.

These cards differ from traditional credit cards by having multifunction capabilities that are powered by a microscopic engine. The cards mimic the chip and pin technology of Europe, by replacing the old magnetic strip with a chip — the Citicards’ will also come with batteries with a four-year life, and five buttons that can remember a pass code. This technology will tie multiple banking accounts to be tied to one card, allowing consumers to switch between accounts with the tap of a button.

Citibank Ahead of the Curve

This is not the first we’ve mentioned of the future Citi 2G card, in fact Citibank first made an announcement about the card in October. To read about the announcement and watch a video about the Citi’s plans for this card check out the article “Citi 2G Cards Usher in ‘Second Generation’ of Credit.”

Higher Protection through Programming

This new card will be the same size and have the flexibility of a regular credit card, it will just provide more versatility as a card. These cards can provide more protection for users because of their button technology. Instead of utilizing an ATM, where a potential card skimmer can steal the users identity, these cards would be activated and verified through their own data.

Another beneficial feature of using this technology is: once the card is lost it basically becomes inactive. Without knowing the card’s pass code criminals will be unable to use your card if your wallet gets lost or stolen.

More Cards to Follow

Thus far, only Citibank employees have been granted the opportunity to experiment with these cards — testing their functionality since May. Select customers will be able to join-in on the fun in November according to a New York Times article. Citibank will be waiting on customer feedback before giving the go-ahead to expand the pilot program.

If you are a Citibank customer and would like to know if you are eligible to test this new card you must hold one of two existing rewards cards; Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard or Citi PremierPass Elite.

Citibank was the first bank to announce a trial card, their 2G credit card, but they are not the only bank considering this option. Dynamics Inc., the company responsible for this microcomputer technology stated that they are working on releasing more of these types of cards with multiple bank partnerships. This small company has already garnered much attention for their technological innovations, including the Best of Innovations award for Personal Electronics at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. There has yet to be specific details released on which banks will introduce these cards and when.

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