SmartSwipe

Jun 19th, 2010 | By Simon

Manufacturer: Smart Swipe

Do you ever worry that a purchase you make online might result in someone duplicating your credit card? There are so many websites with massive discounts that you often take the risk and buy online just to see if you can get the extra iPhone sync cable or a few dollars versus fifty at your local electronics store. I usually hope I can just pay for it with my Paypal balance but I cringe when I see I’m forced to enter my credit card information.

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SmartSwipe is a new way of shopping online. Just like at the store you swipe your card and the reader takes the information off the magnetic strip and encrypts it during the purchase process. This effectively gives you your own point of sales system, let’s see how it works.

Package & Contents

The SmartSwipe package looks very basic. It doesn’t necessarily scream buy me. From the box it looks like it would be some software you could buy online. It’s not until you rotate the package to the back where you see the credit card reader itself.

Once you open up the cover you get a sense of what the SmartSwipe has to offer you. You even get a peak at the device itself through the window.

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The top of the package has nothing of value but the bottom of the package, in small text, lists the system requirements.

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Opening the box there is an insert instructing you to the SmartSwipe website to download the installation software before proceding with the installation. There is also a warning to return the product to SmartSwipe and not the retailer for repairs.

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Apart from that the only other thing in the box is the SmartSwipe device itself.

The top of the device has a slot to slide your credit card through. The bottom has a label with the product number and approval certificates.

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Features and Specifications

There are certainly some great advantages to the SmartSwipe. Taken from their website:

Why use SmartSwipe?
Credit card companies, online retailers and security professionals spend millions every year to make the internet a safer place for credit card transactions. Despite these constant advances, credit card data is stolen every day. Why?

Because your computer is vulnerable.

The problem is that traditional online security (which revolves around concepts like encryption and SSL) only protects information as it travels from your computer to the online shopping site.

But what happens to your information as you type it in and as it sits in your computer’s memory? In most cases, this information is vulnerable to malicious software (like spyware and viruses). Because of this vulnerability, criminals can steal your information right off of your computer, usually without you knowing about it…until it is too late.

SmartSwipe secures your computer by protecting your sensitive information as you swipe your card through the device. Since your personal information is protected before it enters your computer, it is no longer vulnerable to these kinds of malicious software attacks.

More Safety and More Convenience
Best of all, this product is so easy to use that it makes online shopping much more convenient. Run the installation software and plug the device into a USB port. You will never again have to type your credit card information into a website. SmartSwipe increases the simplicity, the speed and the security of shopping online.

    Simplicity

  • Plug and Play Installation – Just run the installation software and plug the device into an open USB port.
  • Automatic Updates – As our software becomes more advanced, we will automatically share these enhancements with you.
  • SmartSwipe works within your existing browser security – this means that you can continue to shop online as you always have and SmartSwipe will work with you.
    Speed

  • You will never have to manually enter in your credit card information. Just swipe and SmartSwipe will do the rest for you.
  • The Internet is constantly changing and SmartSwipe is smart enough to change with it.
    Security

  • Onboard Cryptographic Provider – Your credit card information is protected as you swipe your card through the device.
  • SmartSwipe makes your sensitive credit card information immune to most kinds of malicious software attacks.

I’ll make it very clear that the SmartSwipe is only compatible with Windows XP, Vista or 7 in both 32 and 64-bit platforms.

Installation and Usage

As clearly indicated on the package, you must download and install the software before the SmartSwipe will work with your purchases. In most cases I frown at companies that don’t have a driver CD but in this case it is acceptable because by buying the SmartSwipe for online purchases you automatically acknowledge that you have internet access. Once you’ve downloaded the software the installation process is relatively quick. You’ll need to determine where you want the software to install and who will have access to it. Once that is done a quick reboot and you’re off to the races.

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Once you’ve reset your machine a splash screen will pop up asking you to register. Following that you will be redirected to a SmartSwipe website to confirm the installation has been completed and everything is running properly.

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If everything works fine you can start loading up your shopping cart and spend some money. I went over to the Best Buy website and added the Canon 7D to the cart and proceeded to check out.

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Once you reach the page to add your credit card information you instead only have to press the SmartSwipe logo added to your Internet Explorer toolbar. A splash screen will show up asking you to swipe your credit card when the lights on the SmartSwipe are flashing. You will then need to manually input the verification code.

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A screen will confirm your credit card information: type, card number, holder and expiry date. I’ve blurred out the information for security reasons.

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If you accept the information you will be taken back to your original checkout page with the credit card information listed as “protected”. You’re now ready to check out without having to manually input your credit card information where prying eyes may see it and you also know your information has been protected from the get go. The dynamic SSL technology works by encrypting the data as you swipe your card, not after you press submit on your website. It’s the same type of encryption banks use at ATM machines. If you’ve pulled money out of an ATM then online shopping for you is now just as secure.

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The SmartSwipe is incredibly simple to use and it works with all major credit cards (AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, Discovery and JBC). While it should work on all secure check out pages I’m sure there will be the odd one where it’s not supported. Those are the exceptional shady ones I would avoid. Overall, I’m extremely happy with the SmartSwipe and would be happy to recommend it to anyone who has been hesitant to buy online because they had to manually input their credit card information.

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    Advantages

  • Great for online shoppers and those who think it is unsafe
  • Simple to use
  • Makes for quick checkouts
    Disadvantages

  • $59.99 MSRP might be too much for some
  • Limited to Windows and Internet Explorer

I’d like to thanks SmartSwipe for making this review possible and Ortery for their PhotoCapture 360.

2 comments
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  1. Although a good idea I would rate SmartSwipe 2 1/2 stars out of 5.
    The advertisement says “Works on virtually any website that accepts credit card payments.”
    This is not true, I have encountered “many” sites that it does not work on, I have even brought some of these site to the attention their support people. After they check out the sites they admitted that there are some site that are not compatible with SmartSwipe, Amazon is one of them.

    When the product works, it work well, when it fails it leave you wondering if your purchase went through or not.

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  2. It does work on Amazon. I’ve used it there without problems. Though it’s not exactly straightforward. I think it has more to do with amazon’s obtuse way of adding credit cards. But nevertheless, I can definitely see how it would be frustrating to someone that isn’t familiar with Amazon.

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