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I know that MBNA and ATT credit cards give you the option of using a "temporary credit card number" for online purchases and you set the expirarion date. Used it couple of times-convenient and easy
Yes, I use my MBNA (well, now Bank of America) card like that for online purchases. I go to their website and set the expiration and limit on the number. Whatever vendor I use the number at first is the only vendor that is allowed to charge to the card -- subsequent attempts are denied. They can do multiple charges, as long as I stay under the limit. Very handy.
 

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I always felt that using a credit card for a purchase online was thousands of times more safe than giving it to a restaurant waiter who disappears with it for 15 minutes.

Europeans are way ahead of Americans with regard to safety and credit. Europe waiters have a hand held credit card processor that they bring to the table! Your card NEVER leaves your sight.

Unfortunately, we're not that advanced here in the USA!!
 

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A few places in Atlanta have handheld ordering units that they use to order & swipe cards with at your table. AMC Fork & Screen in Buckhead uses a touch screen unit called order man that is like that. Unfortunately they are $5000 a piece and the hardware behind it is another $1,200.

I have a friend who works at a startup tech firm and they have developed software that works off of blackberrys, treos, and other smartphones. This software could lower the barrier to entry for many firms. Units ould cost a few hundred and any computer with an infrared sensor could be used. All in all I could see this working for many firms. By the way, it is being beta tested in a few warehouses to track inventory.
 

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A few places in Atlanta have handheld ordering units that they use to order & swipe cards with at your table. AMC Fork & Screen in Buckhead uses a touch screen unit called order man that is like that. Unfortunately they are $5000 a piece and the hardware behind it is another $1,200.
The ushers in the dugout level at Turner Field use those too.

We're talking about cards being used fraudulently based on restaurant purchases, but in fact the first known example of a crook using a card reader to scan the data from a customer's card happened at Bloomingdale's.

Of course, there was the stupid kid at Shoney's who stole someone's credit card number and ordered CDs on Amazon. Stupid mistake #1) He had them sent to his house. Stupid mistake #2) the card number he stole belonged to former president Jimmy Carter.
 
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