In my opinion, the above article by Semyon Savrasnky is yet another example of the retroactive fitting of a solution found without TRIZ into TRIZ schemes. How can one claim usefulness of principle #26, if the authors of the solution knew nothing about it ?
Please note: I do not mean that making copies is useless. I mean that the tool called "40 principles" is useless. One has to eventually understand the difference ! Making copies is useful. But using the list of 40 principles as a problem solving tool is useless. This list does not help. I bet that if the guys from Citibank used it, they would have never arrived at the idea of making "copies". They would have probably tried to exploit inert medium !
To prove the usefulness of 40 principles and contradiction matrix, one has to provide a convincing example of how people used them to arrive at a solution. The example has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that they really used the tool.
Besides, where is copying in the above example ? Electronic "replicas" of credit cards have different numbers, expiration dates, and other parameters. They are not copies. They are rather associate cards. Even the authors of the idea called them "virtual" cards.
Use of virtual objects instead of the real ones is not on the list of 40 principles ! It is a new principle overlooked by Altshuller ! Let's tentatively assign it number 51 (because Altshuller proposed 10 more principles on the top of those 40).
If one wants to find a principle amongst those 40, which is closest to the proposed solution, then one has to consider Principle #27: "Cheap short living objects instead of expensive longevity". Indeed, the original card is "long living" and "expensive" (if fraud takes place), whereas its virtual electronic satellites are "cheap" in this respect and "short living".