A programmable transaction card enables accessing a selected one of a plurality of different accounts with the same or different financial institutions through communication with an authorization center while providing important anti-fraud features. The transaction card includes a keyboard for selecting a desired account and for entering optional identification information for the card. The transaction card generates an account number corresponding to the selected account. The account number, together with the identification information, if entered, is presented in a form which is readable by a reader device but is not discernible by the human eye, e.g., by emulation of a magnetic strip. In an alternative embodiment, an optical reader can be used. Upon reading the account number and the identification information by the (e.g., magnetic) reader device during a transaction, the account number and the identification information are transmitted to the authorization center for verification and access to the selected account.